Tag me in FaceBook, sweetheart, and I'll kill you

FaceBook's photo-tagging feature as it is currently implemented is an intrusion on personal privacy, and enough to make one go completely Psycho.

FaceBook's photo-tagging feature as it is currently implemented is an intrusion on personal privacy, and enough to make one go completely Psycho.

Ah, the never ending saga of why I'm always -this- close to calling it quits on FaceBook.

The story goes like this but I've changed the names and minor facts to protect the guilty.

A couple has just celebrated their 20th wedding anniversary. The husband and wife are "Friends" on FaceBook.

The husband, Norman, is a relatively well-known computer industry new media jackass that has made it perfectly clear why he doesn't trust FaceBook, and has written extensive material about how one can lock down their FaceBook profile in order to minimize public exposure of personally identifying or embarrassing information.

Suffice to say, he's made it perfectly clear in boldface type he doesn't want his information, datapoints, photos, statements, et cetera, shared with anyone he doesn't authorize to see it.

His poor wife, Mary, who finds his computer columns unbelievably boring and tedious apparently did not get the memo.

In fact, the first thing she did that morning of their anniversary was to go on a wedding album photo scanning and uploading spree, and then tag Norman in all the pictures he was in. This made Norman very upset, as Mary is friends with over 200 people, most of which he or Mary don't know personally.

In fact Norman went completely ballistic, ordered his wife to delete every single photo he was in and tagged in, and made his poor wife Mary cry.

"Norman, you are a freaking Psycho, do you know that?" Mary cried.

Norman spent a few nights sleeping in the doghouse, but his personal data was now safe.

Norman felt terrible he made his sweet wife of 20 years cry. He made it up to her, he did. He took her out for a very nice dinner and got her drunk on vintage champagne. And he said nice soothing things to her for several days, before he finally murdered Mary in the shower with an ice pick.

But nobody should have to go through any of that. And it's all FaceBook's fault.

The "Tagging" process as it is currently implemented on FaceBook is completely broken -- as it stands today, anyone who you are "Friends" with can be identified as part of an uploaded photograph, or even associated with a shared link or other content.

This is done completely without the tagged person's consent, and should you have many friends and miss a lot of FaceBook updates, it's entirely possible that you could be tagged in a photo or a post not realize it until weeks later, since you have to be vigilant about what's contained in the "View Photos of Me" link.

Finding tagged posts is a bit harder, and if you miss the "You've been tagged in a post" notification woe it be to you if your eyes glazed over your FaceBook News Feed.

FaceBook needs to fix this problem and it needs to fix it NOW. For starters, NOBODY should be able to tagged to a picture, post or any content without their express consent.

In fact, there should be a setting to be able to be opted out of tagging altogether, which there apparently isn't any at this time. You can set Photos and videos that you are tagged in to be set to be only yourself as the sharer ("Only Me") but you can't set it to disable anyone on FaceBook from tagging you.

And should you want to have your friends and family to be able to tag you on occasion, there needs to be some sort of "Tagging authorization queue". This should be managed the same way Apps are authorized or new Friends are handled.

If someone attempts to tag you, you should get a Tag notification, the same way Friend Requests and Message Pending notifications exist, on the top left of the screen, with a red color. And then you should have the opportunity to review these requests and Permit or Deny as needed.

In the future, should you decide to be untagged from a post or a photo, FaceBook also needs to provide the complete Tag History to every user.

In fact, not only should a complete Tag History exist for user editing, but the entire "Like" history should be available for cropping and editing by the user as well. Maybe Norman doesn't like Alfred Hitchcock films or articles from Ice Pick Murderer Digest anymore, maybe he doesn't want a potential future employer to know what his tastes are, who knows.

Additionally, if you de-friend someone or they de-friend you, all of their Tags on your person should evaporate as well, with notifications sent to both parties.

I'll say this again, and I'll say this on behalf of "Norman" as well -- if you tag him in any photo or a post without his express permission, he's coming to kill you.

Has FaceBook Tagging made you go completely Psycho? Talk Back and Let Me Know.

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