I study privacy settings. They are complicated. Exhibit J (J for “just now.” After months of studying these things.) from a series of texts I sent a friend:
Here’s the entire conversation, including the part above (because there’s no chance that fake text message is accessible … I hope WordPress is more generally. I’ll look into that soon.):
Me: WHOA I JUST DISCOVERED YOUTUBE LIKES ARE PUBLIC. [scream emoji] [scream emoji] Friend: Not knowing much about this space, I'm curious why that is surprising Me: No particular reason, I probably should have known, I was just wrong and not acting as though they were public Friend: Why should you have known? Does youtube bother to tell you that anywhere? Me: Well ... I should have known because I'm studying these things and said in my generals talk that it is anonymous. They don't really tell you. I'm on my "profile" page and saw it and then went to the same url in a private browser and was like "oh shit" Me: YouTube subscriptions are also public. Man I need to re-evaluate my YouTube presence :( Friend: I think the fact that you're studying these things and still didn't realize indicates an even bigger fail on YouTube's part Me: Oh no I just reported myself. I clicked button that said "report history" in the private window and was taken to a page that said something like "thank you for reporting this user" Friend: Lol Me: Oh hey there's a setting to make likes private. I was about to manually unlike all of these and put them in a private playlist.
Side note: I am fairly sure there was nothing actually embarrassing or damning in my public YouTube presence. Unless you consider GLEE embarrassing. But I’m 100% sure without double checking, and it definitely made my heart skip a beat when I realized this. Thankfully, there is a setting for permissions on “likes” and subscriptions, but the default is public.
Also, YouTube isn’t in the set of apps I’ve analyzed closely. But now I’ll be adding it.