Facebook CEO's sister upset about private photo published on Twitter

Randi Zuckerberg, founder of Zuckerberg Media and former marketing director at Facebook, confronted Vox Media Director of Marketing and Projects Callie Schweitzer on Twitter after she tweeted a photo of the Zuckerberg family reacting to the social network's new "Poke" app. In a tweet to Schweitzer, Zuckerberg said the photo was shared only with her friends on Facebook and it was "way uncool" of Schweitzer to share the photo publicly on Twitter, according to the screenshots BuzzFeed captured of the Twitter exchange between the two.


Schweitzer, who has a Twitter following of nearly 39, 700 users, apologized via Twitter for publishing the photo and noted that she subscribes to Zuckerberg's public Facebook feed. The Vox Media executive tweeted that Zuckerberg's photo popped up at the top of her Facebook news feed and it "seemed public."

Schweitzer deleted the photo at Zuckerberg's request and tweeted back at her: "I would hate for a private photo of mine to be public and would never want to do same to others."

Zuckerberg accepted the apology and responded that Schweitzer was able to see the photo because she's Facebook friends with Zuckerberg's sister, who is tagged in the picture. Later Zuckerberg tweeted: "Digital etiquette: always ask permission before posting a friend's photo publicly. It's not about privacy settings, it's about human decency."

But the exchange caused several Twitter users to debate about Facebook's privacy settings, with some commenting that Zuckerberg was confused by the recent changes to them. One Twitter user, @girlvanized, tweeted to Zuckerberg: "Instead of vilifying a subscriber for not reading your mind, maybe you should talk to your brother about recent FB changes."

Tech journalist Rob Pegoraro also noted via Twitter that "if you make some of your Facebook profile public and some of it private, there's a risk of confusion among intersecting audiences."

This month Facebook unveiled a set of new privacy features that it said are designed to help users better understand who can see the content they share and control the audience with which they share that content. Among them, Facebook added new notifications across the social network informing users that content they hide from their timeline can still be seen by others in its news feed, search feature and other places on the site.

Facebook said the notifications were aimed at making users more aware of who can view and access their posts.

But Kashmir Hill at Forbes noted that Facebook users' personal content can still leak out despite the company's efforts to introduce new privacy tools because people can't always control what photos or posts their friends share across the social network.

"Even if you manage to master Facebook’s settings, your friends’ selections as to who can see their content may wind up undermining your privacy decisions," Hill writes.