Mythbusters

Distrust of Facebook Now Demands a Help Page Dispelling ‘Common Myths’

These aren't the droids you're looking for.
 Distrust of Facebook Now Demands a Help Page Dispelling Common Myths

I don’t even know. (Photo: Macleans.ca)

Reuters social media editor Anthony De Rosa pointed us to what appears to be a new section in Facebook’s help center which addresses the many commonly held myths about the platform. You know your brand is seriously distrusted when you have to devise an entire help section dedicated to dispelling the half-truths told about it.

The vast majority of the questions relate to privacy issues–the eternal thorn in the company’s side–and how Facebook uses the troves of personal data mined from its users. Some examples:

  • Do advertisers have access to my personal information?
  • What personal information is shared with sites that use social plugins?
  • Does Facebook sell my information?

Facebook says the answer to all of these answers is “no,” and while technically true, the language definitely leaves some wiggle room. After all, Facebook may not sell your information, but it damn sure does sell ads against your information.

Another myth the new section addresses is “Can people see my private messages on my timeline?”, which was undoubtedly spawned by Monday’s fracas, when users across the web began reporting that they were seeing private messages crop up on their timelines. Facebook staunchly refuted the claims, but that did little to comfort paranoid users who have come to deeply distrust the social network behemoth.

Maybe The Amazing Kreskin was right, and Zuck does need a babysitter to help bolster his credibility.

Follow Jessica Roy on Twitter or via RSS. jroy@observer.com