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Ask HN: Why is "public" the new default setting for user profiles?
2 points by reedlaw 1105 days ago | 2 comments
I just signed up for a Grooveshark account and was given a vanity url which I guessed was public. Pasting the url into another browser confirmed the hunch. I then had to search for settings to make my playlists and history private. After setting these, I was still able to see personal data. Why would they do this? I've deleted my Facebook account over privacy concerns but now it seems like many sites are following suit with more and more public data. I don't presume all my online activity is private, but I would prefer if it weren't wide-open by default.

Because it increases engagement, page views, "stalking" (which is a natural part of all social sites) and it fosters a community. All of these things are important to sites that act a social network.

The specific problem with Grooveshark is that you sign up looking for music and what you get is a music player with a social component on top of it (that you usually weren't expecting).


My guess would be that 1) public profiles bring in more new users and 2) most users don't bother to check their settings


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