Though meeting and reconnecting with people is the purpose of anyone who signs up for an account in a social networking website, that does not mean that he wants his social network to be open to everybody. Nobody would want to be connected to just about anyone. A person would only make a person his ‘friend’ or contact in a social networking website if he already is connected to that person in real life or is interested to meet that person.
This is where user privacy comes in. When you build your social network website, one of the important features you should have is enabling each user to customize his own user privacy settings. Some users may allow their profiles to be viewed by the public (anybody). Some users may restrict their profiles to be viewed only by friends and friends of friends. Some may restrict their profiles to be viewed only by friends. Whatever the user chooses, he will still be the one to approve a friend/contact request. Without his approval, a person who requests to be his ‘friend’ cannot be connected to him.
If you wish to start your own social network website, bear in mind that giving your members the power and ability to keep their profiles public or private is showing them concern and giving them good service. It is your duty to help protect them in any way you can. Allow them to contact you for privacy problems. If they report another user who seems to be offensive and someone they would want to hide their profile from, act on it. Being able to block another user from one’s own profile gives the latter to enjoy using your social network website without worrying if the bad visitor is viewing his own pictures and content.
Sure, it could feel like you are a parent trying to resolve a fight between your children. But if you act like one and do what you can to resolve it, your family of members will grow consistently.
So keep in mind your user’s privacy and enforce respect in your social network website in order to keep it a place where everyone will feel safe to stay.