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UK Facebook Photos Dominated By Sozzled Brits

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelance and long standing contributor to TechWeek Europe

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A sobering statistic for the New Year is the revelation that the majority of Britons’ Facebook photos are taken while drunk

British Facebook users beware after a survey revealed that three quarters (76 percent) of tagged photos on the social networking Website were taken while under the influence of alcohol.

The sobering statistic comes courtesy of photo sharing Website MyMemory whose survey of 1,781 British Facebook users aged 18 and over found that eight percent of these photos could get users “in serious trouble”, presumably with work management.

More than half of Brits (56 percent) admit to photos where they are completely drunk.

Online Portrayal

Perhaps an even more alarming statistic is about tagged photos and “friend” access to embarrassing pictures about us. Two thirds of respondents (65 percent) admitted to having purposely “tagged” someone in a photo in order to embarrass them. This is a somewhat alarming detail in the post-Christmas party season.

So now may be a good time to review your Facebook privacy settings, as the default setting on Facebook is to allow your friends to ‘tag’ you in a photo. Depending on your own privacy settings, various groups of people can automatically see these photos, including co-workers, family and friends.

The poll revealed that only 12 percent of Brits had adjusted their Facebook settings so only they could see their photos. 58 percent said that their settings allowed “friends only” to view tagged photos of themselves, but 26 percent admitted that their settings allowed anyone to see their tagged photos.

This casual attitude towards online portrayal is reflected in the survey finding that 93 percent of Brit admitted they had to remove tagged pictures of themselves from their profile because they were too embarrassing.

Work Dangers

The survey highlights the increasing issue of Facebook’s potential use by employers.

In December, 2011, for example, a British worker in an Apple store in Norwich was fired after he posted a series of rants about the iPhone and Apple itself.

Also in 2011 a survey found that nearly half of British businesses had formally banned access to social networks in the workplace because they feared damage to their reputation as a result of derogatory comments.