Mark Zuckerberg Facebook SXSWi 2008 Keynote
Image by deneyterrio via Flickr

Facebook has finally introduced long-awaited changes to its privacy controls, following weeks of protests during which thousands of users even threatened to quit the social networking giant.

The controls, which were announced in a blog post by chief executive Mark Zuckerberg, also come as he was attacked personally by several users for seemingly not caring about users’ need for privacy.

Zuckerberg’s blog, which comes just days after he wrote an article in the Washington Post admitting some of the company’s mistakes, introduce some simpler controls for users wanting to protect data on their profiles.

“We’ve built one simple control to set who can see the content you post. In a couple of clicks, you can set the content you’ve posted to be open to everyone, friends of your friends or just your friends.”

“This control will also apply to settings in new products we launch going forward. So if you decide to share your content with friends only, then we will set future settings to friends only as well. This means you won’t have to worry about new settings in the future.”

This overall control, which is the first of two major changes, comes after a number of users attacked the company for making privacy controls too complex.

While Facebook has introduced dozens of different controls for users to customise every single piece of their profile, many users said this was too complex to use and they became confused about who was able to view their data.

Additionally, during some of Facebook’s upgrades to privacy controls, some of this data accidentally defaulted to “public” view, and because of the complexity of the privacy controls system, many users said they didn’t know how to change them back.

Zuckerberg says this new simple control system allows users to access a simple portal from which to review their information, and see who can view it.

“This single control makes it easier to set who can see all your content at once, but you can still use all of the same granular controls we’ve offered if you’d like.”

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