From IT site [The Register](http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/09/05/facebook_public_access/):
> Facebook users may no longer be able to hide after the website announced it is launching a service that enables anyone to view member profiles.
Except they haven’t. And it’s easy to see they haven’t. If you’re a Facebook user, there’s a huge block of text, plus an illustration, to show what actually will be going on. And, in easy to understand language, how to take action if you want to change something.
A new facility has been enabled that allows searching for someone by name to be undertaken by people who aren’t logged in. If someone searches for you, and finds your details, **all they see is your thumbnail profile picture and your name**, plus the usual links on the right-hand side: Send message, Poke, etc. However, any further action requires either logging in or registration.
So, what resemblance does that have to “a service that enables anyone to view member profiles”? None. To view a member profile, you need to be a Facebook member as before. And all the existing privacy controls that hide whether or not people can view your profile remain in place, so even if you _are_ logged in to Facebook, there’s no guarantee you’ll be able to see the contents of somebody else’s profile.
Also, in a few weeks, pages containing these sort of search results will be indexable by major search engines. Which means that **all they will be indexing is your name, a thumbnail image of you (if you have one) and the fact that you (or someone who shares your name) has a profile on Facebook**. And this can be very easily opted out of.
I’m sure there are people who say this service should be opt-in, rather than opt-out — fair enough. Opting out with plenty of notice (remember, these search results are not yet visible to search engines, and won’t be for a while) seems a very professional way of handling things to me.
However, Charlie Taylor, author of The Register’s piece, says:
> [Facebook site engineer Phil Fung] also downplayed the importance of the decision to open up information to the general public.
I’d say that, rather than anything being ‘downplayed’, Fung was being truthful, which is more than Taylor’s trumped-up piece of writing is.
Journalism like this horrifies me. It’s bad enough that people have been trained to think that starting a news story from an easily checkable inaccuracy is okay. It’s even worse that editors either sanction, or encourage, such sloppiness. Is it incompetence or deliberate deception? Either way, it’s not what you’d call professional.