Facebook fiddles with privacy settings - again

Facebook has overhauled the way users manage their information on the site, in an effort to respond to claims the network's privacy settings are unfathomable.

Writing on the Facebook blog, product VP Chris Cox said the changes are designed to make it easier to share posts, photos, tags and other content with the user's chosen audience. But as the site endeavours to make use of its privacy setting easier to manage, some changes it is lining up are inevitably likely to annoy or worry some users

"You have told us that "who can see this?" could be clearer across Facebook, so we have made changes to make this more visual and straightforward," Cox writes.

The main change sees privacy controls shifted from a settings page most users couldn't find to being inline, next to the user's posts, photos and tags they affect.

Facebook said it wants to make it easier to monitor one's own profile and easier to share stuff with only those people to want to share stuff with.

So now users can see their profile as others see it and choose remove or hide elements from view,

It also introduces a way of manging 'tags' applied by other users. From now on users can choose to use a new tool to approve or reject any photo or post you are tagged in before it's visible to anyone else on your profile.

Facebook will offer users the ability to remove a tag from their profile, or have the tag removed by messaging the owner of the photo in which the tag appears or the tagger. However, users can now tag anyone they like, not just friends, according to details here. That sounds like trouble in the making.

Facebook said the new privacy settings and controls will be rolled out over the coming couple of days.