Facebook's new status feature may cause headaches

September 25, 2009 By Bridget Carey

Facebook has just announced another feature that should make you scramble to update your privacy settings.

It's called status tagging, and it's very similar to when you tag your friends in photos or notes, but you're giving them a trackable shoutout in your status update.

Basically, it's also Facebook's way of making their features more similar to how works. On Twitter, when you mention someone by name, it's preceded by an @ symbol, which alerts them to the fact you're talking to them.

On Facebook, though, it doesn't happen automatically the way it does with Twitter.

If you want to tag someone in a status update, type in the @ symbol, and without a space, start typing the name of a friend, fanpage or group you want to tag. You'll see a drop-down menu of related people or pages -- just like when you search for someone's name you are already friends with.

Select one of them, and it will automatically put them in your status update.

Here's where the potential for problems comes in: Anytime someone tags you in their status, it will show up on your wall, just like it does now when you're tagged in photos or notes.

So, for example, if you have foul-mouthed friends who have a penchant for tagging you in pictures you don't want your boss to see, you may need to make sure they're not embarrassing you in status updates tags, too.

This is a good time to revisit your settings for who can see what on your profile. If you already have strict settings for people who can/cannot see photos tagged of you, maybe it's time to create a strict setting for who can see your wall. (To do this, click on the "settings" tab in the upper right hand corner, next to your name, and then visit ".")

On another note, it's been almost a year now that we've been writing Poked -- answering your questions and setting some netiquette violators straight. We noticed The New York Times and AdAge just started their own online advice columns last week -- it goes to show you that there's a need out there for learning how to deal with this new way of interacting.
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(c) 2009, The Miami Herald
Visit The Miami Herald Web edition on the World Wide Web at www.herald.com/
Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

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