12/27/2012 04:54 pm ET Updated Dec 28, 2012

'Today' Show Hosts' Facebook Ignorance Is Just Embarrassing (VIDEO)

After a segment catching up "Today" viewers on Randi Zuckerberg's accidentally viral Facebook photo, the hosts of NBC's morning news show demonstrated just how acceptable it's become to be totally, utterly ignorant of the social network's privacy settings.

To catch everyone up: On Wednesday, Randi, sister of Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg, posted a family picture to her private Facebook account that was inadvertently shared to the rest of the world. You see, the picture showed up in the Facebook feed of Callie Schweitzer, friend of Randi's sister, who thought the pic was public and re-posted it on Twitter. After Randi wrote that she thought her privacy had been breached, Schweitzer took the photo down.

As "Today" reported on the incident, hosts Willie Geist, Savannah Guthrie and Natalie Morales embarrassed themselves by exposing their complete bewilderment with how Facebook, a website that's been around since 2004, works.

Here's the telling exchange:

WILLIE GEIST: Guys, I have to confess. I don't know much anything about Facebook or privacy settings.

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: And also, show of hands if you understand how the photo got onto Twitter. I don't quite get it myself.

NATALIE MORALES: Well apparently, the privacy settings is the issue. It's created some confusion, but I guess the sister posted it and... thought she was posting it with the privacy setting but it got published to like 40,000 people.

Morales seems to think that Randi Zuckerberg accidentally published a public photo that should have been restricted to a smaller group within Zuckerberg's network of Facebook contacts. Randi has tens of thousands of followers who subscribe to her public Facebook updates, but the photo wasn't shared with them. Instead, based on the back-and-forth between Zuckerberg and Schweitzer on Twitter, it appears that Randi's photo was visible only to her several hundred personal Facebook friends. Because Schweitzer is both a subscriber to Randi's public posts and a Facebook friend of Randi's sister (whom Randi had tagged in the post), Schweitzer seems to have mistaken the photo for a public update that was meant for all Randi's subscribers.

How nice would it have been for "Today" to take a moment to explain how to adjust one's Facebook privacy settings so that what happened to Randi Zuckerberg doesn't happen to you. (You can read such an explanation here.) They could also have warned that what you post to Facebook can be reshared elsewhere on the Internet, even if you've applied to your profile the strictest of privacy settings.

Instead, in the interest of being "relatable" to the viewers downing pre-commute coffee, the show's hosts were perfectly comfortable remaining just as confused about Facebook as many in their audience likely were.



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