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Facebook's Privacy Dinosaur

Facebook's Privacy Dinosaur

You may have thought online privacy was extinct, but there's still some life left.

Even Facebook (if you can believe it) occasionally takes steps to watch your back when it comes to privacy issues.

That's why a new feature being tested with a limited number of users is so encouraging - and a bit baffling.

It's not officially called the Privacy Dinosaur, but it is a little blue dinosaur that pops up to warn users against oversharing.

Here's what Facebook's Privacy Dinosaur looks like:

What's unexpected about this feature is how it doesn't directly benefit Facebook's bottom line. In fact, in the short term it may even hurt it. That's because Facebook makes money the more people share - and share publicly. But it may make sense for the brand in the long run. Here's what Slate's Will Oremus has to say:

Facebook understands more than ever that maintaining its users’ trust—or at least a modicum of it—is crucial to its long-term survival. Maintaining access to users’ data is crucial, too, of course. But I think Facebook recognizes that no one wins when people accidentally share things with people they didn’t mean to share them with.

In other words, it may just be a PR stunt, or even a trick, but the more people take control of their online privacy the better. And there is evidence that Facebook knows this too, and genuinely wants to curb accidental oversharing to create a better user experience. You can read all about the Privacy Dinosaur at Slate.

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