Liz Gannes

Recent Posts by Liz Gannes

New Facebook Profiles Susceptible to Pranks

One of the most significant changes in Facebook’s profile page redesign this week was to highlight images–both pictures of users and pictures of their friends. As part of that, users who upgraded to the new profile (more info here) now have a strip of their five most recently tagged photos running right under their basic information.

The crucial feature of Facebook photos is that, by default, friends can tag users in pictures without the users confirming that the pictures are actually of them. So with the new layout, friends can decide what pictures show at the top of a person’s profile. And for the more creative, they have five concatenated pictures in which to do so.

Facebook users are already having fun with this option, pranking each other to show inappropriate pictures and silly sequences of words. BuzzFeed ran an NSFW example of this earlier this week, with one of its users apparently pulling the suggested prank on the Facebook of a fellow named Trent Reznor.

Users worried about their profiles being hijacked for everyone to see can change their privacy settings. (For instance, a user can limit who is allowed to see other people’s photos she is tagged in.)

Top image by BuzzFeed user shwagner.

Please see the disclosure about Facebook on my ethics page.