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Facebook Suddenly Cares If You're Oversharing

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The Facebook logo is displayed outside of Facebook's new headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif., Thursday, Jan. 12, 2012. What?s good for Facebook and its employees could be very good for California?s treasury. If Facebook goes public this year, as many have speculated, the state stands to reap hundreds of millions of dollars in capital gains taxes from Facebook investors and employees profiting from stock sales. That could bring a much-needed windfall to a state government facing a $9.2 billion def | ASSOCIATED PRESS

It looks like Facebook may have just acknowledged one of the biggest gripes people have about the social network: Its privacy settings are just too complicated.

Starting on Wednesday, some people on Facebook who were sharing their posts publicly got the following notification:

The message reads:

Sorry to interrupt. You haven't changed who can see your posts lately, so we just wanted to make sure you're sharing this post with the right audience. (Your current setting is Public, though you can change this whenever you post.)

When you click "Learn More," Facebook offers a gentle reminder that you may be oversharing. "Every time you post on Facebook you can decide who sees what you share. It looks like you haven't changed who can see your posts in a while, so we're just checking that your privacy is set the way you want it."

Broadly speaking, Facebook members have the option of sharing their posts publicly with the entire Internet or more narrowly with only Facebook friends or groups of Facebook friends. But often, people post status updates and photos without really knowing which privacy settings they chose, since those settings are notoriously difficult to understand.

"We frequently test new ways to help ensure people are sharing with who they want to on Facebook," a Facebook spokesperson told The Huffington Post.

These new notifications are a nice move from Facebook. Facebook's often stated mission is "to make the world more open and connected," but critics say the company sometimes goes too far in encouraging people to overshare.

Making your posts public can lead to disaster. The latest example from just this week: A Tennessee woman found that her Facebook photos had been stolen from her page and were being used in advertisements for prostitution.

This post has been updated with a comment from Facebook.

[h/t Daily Dot]

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