Facebook Whitewalling

Facebook Whitewalling is an emerging teen technique to control Facebook privacy: it is the act of logging into Facebook, but deactivating your account each time you logout, then re-activating it when you login, and then deactivating it again when you logout, and so on.

This is a trend that Danah Boyd has recently identified.

The idea is that, without an account on Facebook, you can’t be tagged in any images or other users status updates or check-ins that you don’t want to be.

This means that you control what presence you have on the social network.

It is, actually, a pretty ingenious way of putting power back into the hands of the individual users. What’s disappointing of course, is that Facebook doesn’t have an explicit “don’t tag me!” function already built in. Maybe this new user behaviour will see this shift.

Interestingly, Drew Benvie is experimenting with this and recently wrote about it here. I’m really intrigued and will be watching keenly to see what he makes of his extremely interesting process.

5 thoughts on “Facebook Whitewalling

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Facebook Whitewalling « Seldom Seen Kid -- Topsy.com

  2. Interesting concept. It’s usually actions like this that prompt FB to make changes. I would think that a good solution to this could be the introduction some sort of “downtime” option where you effectively disable all features until you reactivate. They could include an option to create a list of users that can still contact you by message during the downtime. Kind of like a reverse blocked list.
    Basically if your name’s not down you’re not coming in!
    Unfortunately I think that for normal people who would need to do this regularly, they aren’t putting enough thought into what content they put out there and their relationships to others. Make your content lighthearted and keep personal stuff off of FB and you shouldn’t need to be sweating about what somebody else might be posting on your wall.

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