Caitlin Seida posted a photo of herself on Facebook dressed in a Lara Croft costume, thinking it was private. It was not. The photo spread, and spread again.
It rapidly amassed some of the meanest comments you can imagine, and sparked debate over the logistics and legalities of Facebook privacy settings.
Because Caitlin hadn't restricted her Facebook privacy settings to "Friends Only," she didn't have a legal right to the photos she posted on the site.
As such, they could technically be used on other websites, and they were. It's unclear how this one went viral, but it was posted, re-posted and re-posted.
Despite her best efforts, she learned that once a photo goes viral online, it's very difficult to scrub it from existence. It's a shame but a cautionary tale.
You can follow the above link if you wish to know what people said about her, but let's just say it wasn't kind. We'll leave it at that. You have to feel for Caitlin.
Why certain people get off on shredding someone's physical appearance behind the keys of message boards is beyond us. What do you get out of that?
That being said, when you post photos, you have to almost expect this. That goes for not just Caitlin or Lara Croft costumes, but anything online.
You can double- or triple-check your privacy settings and keep your friends list small, but the only way to truly prevent this is to keep it off the web.
That's on you. It's like abstinence but for social media.
Tips for protecting your shared images on Facebook:
- Go to Albums. Click on the gray globe underneath an Album. Click on Only Me or Friends. That will keep restricted to just those people.
- Re: #1, for individual photos that are not in an album, you'll have to go to each one, click "edit," and adjust the setting so that it's not Public.
- You can't make cover photos private. Choose accordingly.