Storify and privacy online

There's a bit of confusion over a blog post and whether Storify itself makes "private" updates from Facebook public. Storify only lets you publish what you can see online, and you should use that power wisely.

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  1. A blog post with a provocative headline has raised concerns about whether Storify is exposing "private" information from Facebook. 

    To clarify, we want to reassure you that Storify does not make anything public that hasn't been collected by a user and published in a story. Also, Storify users do NOT have access to content on the web that they couldn't otherwise see themselves.

    Here's the blog post that caused the initial concern:
  2. and prompted people to say things like:
  3. and ...
  4. or
  5. By using our bookmarklet or Chrome browser plugin, you can indeed collect text, photos and video from all around the web, including what is visible to you on Facebook. That media may not have been intended for a wider audience, but it's up to you if you want to publish it more widely. This is something you could do using Storify, but also by copy and pasting the text or simply taking a screenshot. 
  6. We believe strongly in freedom of expression and democratization of media in the Internet age. Anyone can now easily and cheaply publish to the web and reach a global audience. That also means each of us with this power must consider how we use it.
  7. On the other side, we also all must realize that everything we post that is viewable by someone else can be easily shared more widely. So you should always think about what you post -- especially on Facebook when using your real name.

    That point was also made by the AGBeat blog post that triggered the concerns:
  8. This is yet another reminder that anything you say anywhere on the web, private or not, is always subject to being shared via third party apps, screenshots, or good old fashioned copy and paste, so never say something online that you wouldn’t say in public, because there really is no such thing as privacy, which is sad and unacceptable, but true.
  9. And a very similar message is in Facebook's own data use policy:
  10. Always think before you post. Just like anything else you post on the web or send in an email, information you share on Facebook can be copied or re-shared by anyone who can see it.
  11. After discussion around social networks, others came to a similar conclusion:
  12. If you have any other questions about this or any other issues, please don't hesitate to contact us through our regular support email: support[at]storify[dot]com

    Thank you for your stories!

    Yours,
    Burt Herman
    Storify co-founder
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