Privacy Settings for YouTube “Likes”

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:

Screen Shot 2018-06-30 at 2.40.08 PM

Can we also talk about the how many features fake text message generators have?!?

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.

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