Facebook ditches networks, updates privacy

Founder Mark Zuckerberg discusses changes in an open letter to users

Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg, has written an open letter to the social network's 350 million users outlining changes to Facebook privacy and the decision to abolish networks.

"Facebook's current privacy model revolves around 'networks' — communities for your school, your company or your region. This worked well when Facebook was mostly used by students, since it made sense that a student might want to share content with their fellow students."

As the site grew, however, so did the networks and today Facebook has networks for entire countries, such as Australia and China. Almost 50 per cent of all users are members of regional networks.

"Some of these regional networks now have millions of members and we've concluded that this is no longer the best way for you to control your privacy," Zuckerberg wrote.

"The plan we've come up with is to remove regional networks completely and create a simpler model for privacy control where you can set content to be available to only your friends, friends of your friends, or everyone."

Facebook will give users the ability to control who can see individual pieces of content. It will also simplify the privacy settings page, a move it outlined last July. Users will be asked to review and update their privacy settings.

"We've worked hard to build controls that we think will be better for you, but we also understand that everyone's needs are different. We'll suggest settings for you based on your current level of privacy, but the best way for you to find the right settings is to read through all your options and customise them for yourself," Zuckerberg said.

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