4 new pet peeves about Facebook

September 9, 2013: 1:28 PM ET

The social giant delayed its privacy policy last week, but privacy isn't my only issue with it right now.

facebook-620xaFORTUNE -- One challenge Facebook (FB) has faced, nearly from day one, is privacy. To what extent are Facebook's 1.2 billion status update-pushing, photo upload-loving members protected?

The debate continues over a proposed new privacy policy that Facebook reportedly delayed after several privacy groups attempted to block the changes. According to the New York Times, the tweaks included how Facebook uses personal information and the language around whether Facebook can include users' personal data in advertisements. Explicit consent was needed before, but the new terms put the burden on users to prevent certain images from being used in ads.

The dilemma has struck a chord, particularly with some who don't like the idea of their children's visages being digitally repurposed to shill ads without permission. It could be one big potential cause for concern, a new pet peeve to toss in with a wave of smaller issues.

MORE: Quitting social media: Easier said than done

Here are four current Facebook pet peeves I've noticed crop up lately:

Lots of children's photos. Having just recently become a member of the thirtysomething set, I'll freely admit I don't have children. I want them -- just not yet. Still, if and when I do have them, chances are I'll keep their photos off Facebook. Why? I don't want their identities so easily sharable. As parents have become more comfortable with the idea of broadcasting their lives, I've noticed more and more photos of children flooding my Newsfeed. It's a sweet gesture, absolutely. Still, the deluge has made me on more than one occasion "hide" the status updates of certain friends on my Newsfeed who don't comprehend the age-old adage that moderation is key. Far more importantly, the same users concerned about having photos of their kids used in advertisements should realize that to minimize that from happening, they need to stop the distribution at the source: themselves.

Other er, questionable images. One reason I enjoy Facebook is the ability to skim users' clever, Instagram-filtered shots. A picnic in Central Park? Lovely. Misadventures from Burning Man? Rock on. A shot of you scantily clad in a leather daddy outfit? Pass. Some things should best be left to the imagination.

MORE: 5 social media all-stars

Status update arguments. I have a love-hate relationship with the social network, something I've admitted in the past. Vapid as it may seem, I revel in the fleeting gratification from having friends and followers "Like" and comment on my updates, all carefully generated for maximum response. (What? You thought they were spontaneous?) Still, as much of a public forum as it can be, there's a time and place for certain scenarios. Case in point: I've seen squabbles unravel line-by-line-by-line in my Newsfeed, first to amusement, then cringe-worthy Spanish telenovela effect.

Job search inquiries. Facebook is a terrific platform for many things, but advertising for a job isn't one of them. I've seen and heard of people asking for full- and part-time gigs, sometimes comically, sometimes tragically. In one case, the divorce of a friend of a friend unraveled status update-by-status update, causing one spouse to eventually plead for job help. Tragic, to be sure. But the social network is not the place for job opportunities, nor one would argue, for that kind of melodrama.

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About This Author
JP Mangalindan
JP Mangalindan
Writer, Fortune

JP Mangalindan is a San Francisco-based writer at Fortune, covering Silicon Valley. Since joining in 2010, he has written on a wide array of topics, from the turnaround of eBay to the evolution of net neutrality. A graduate of Fordham University, Mangalindan has also written for GQ, Popular Science, and Entertainment Weekly.

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