A Sky News investigative journalist has warned members of AA and other anonymous recovery organisations that so-called ‘private’ Facebook groups are anything but. Many groups’ membership lists are public leaving members vulnerable to anonymity breaks by affiliation. Despite some groups being labelled as private, once a member of a group any member can see membership lists and screening of new members is non-existent meaning that anyone, alcoholic or not, can join.
As well as members being outed to friends and family, depending on the individual’s security settings these memberships can often be seen by potential employers or customers leaving members vulnerable to discrimination and presumption.
While anonymity is a personal choice, activity on social media can often inadvertently break an individual’s anonymity as well as the anonymity of others.