I was looking into Flickr as a possible place for hiding my photos… I created a new account and have been exploring the settings. I don’t know why they go on about Facebook’s privacy settings being doubtful and complicated… Flickr doesn’t seem to be any better! I noticed that anyone you invite to view your photos is able to see your list of contacts, together with full names, and as far as I’m concerned, that reduces the number of people you can sensibly invite to the same place.
I was reading a discussion where people said “I want to be able to hide my contacts from other contacts,” and other people got all shirty and said “but that would spoil all our fun! Hiding your contacts is not the point of a social site.”
People would be taken aback if you said to them (in real life), “let me see a list of all your friends, their full names, interests and where they live… I might decide not to be friends with you if I don’t like what I see!” So I don’t know why the social sites should expect it.
Bearing in mind that I haven’t tried every social site that’s out there (thus have limited experience of them), I think that if people had a more intuitive and flexible method of keeping different areas of their lives hidden from different groups of people (just as they do in real life) the social sites would be more successful rather than less.