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Facebook Likes Cause Embarrassing Posts

by on July 18, 2012
in Computers and Software, News, Computer Safety & Support, Blog, Facebook, Social Networking :: 50 comments

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I have some Facebook friends I’d rather not offend—editors, co-workers and well, friends. You probably do, too.

To keep away from alienating these important people, I stay away from posting about controversial subjects. You won’t find me bashing the president or ranting about Mitt Romney because I know full well that some of my contacts are supporters and I don’t feel the need to “get into it” with anyone about politics or anything, really.

So you can imagine my displeasure at learning that Facebook is automatically publishing posts under people’s names and placing them at the top of the News feed for friends to see. Sometimes these posts involve controversial political content that I wouldn’t ever post on my own.

According to ZDNet, in the last two weeks Facebook has been sending out these automatic posts according to things users have liked. For instance, people who “liked” Planned Parenthood at some time in their Facebook history might have sent out a message from the organization asking people to sign a petition about the Health Care Reform Act. Or those who ever liked the conservative group ForAmerica might have sent out messages asking people to “like” the message “ObamaCare must go!”

“ recently ran a somewhat racy promotion for the ‘Date Night Gift Pack from K-Y: Including $10 off 2 movie tickets, Yours & Mine Lubes, and K-Y Touch Warming Oil,’ and the ad implied that my associates liked the K-Y products. To say that my colleague and my friend were mortified would be an understatement!” wrote one Facebook user.

This is not cool.

For one thing, many of the organizations and causes you may have “liked” on Facebook you don’t really like at all, but just did so to support a friend trying to garner a bunch of likes for his or her business or cause.

And wouldn’t you think Facebook would have to get someone’s permission before posting on their behalf? 

Apparently, Facebook considers this kind of auto-posting a great feature. “To help people find new Pages, events, and other interesting information, people may now see posts from a Page a friend likes. These posts will include the social context from your friends who like the Page and will respect all existing settings,” Facebook says.

And if you’re not interested in seeing these kinds of posts from others there’s nothing you can do to turn them off in your news feed, short of unfriending people, that is.

If you don’t want Facebook spamming people with who-knows-what-kind of messages sent on your behalf, you should inspect your list of likes (which you can find by clicking on “About” on your Timeline) and “unlike” any page you think might communicate something you might not support.

And if your friends ask you about a suspicious post supposedly coming from you, now you know why.

Discussion loading

Avoid Facebook Apps

From Tom Cox on July 18, 2012 :: 9:59 am

The only times I have seen the “opportunity” to have Facebook or anyone else post on my behalf, have been when I received an invitation to participate in some Facebook app or game. One of the conditions of accepting the invitation has been a pretty explicit statement of the intent to post on my behalf. See what apps you are signed up for, and be much more careful about them in the future.


apps can be deceiving

From Colin on July 20, 2012 :: 12:06 pm

I agree, but pressure to add apps can be deceiving.  I have been pestered by relatives and app requests. It is only through a stubborn policy with FB that I resist easy clicks, that I have been saved frustrating time in editing preferences.
Saying “yes” to get past legal gobbledigook and into what I want to see is way too easy.

I watch in horror as newby friends and relatives agree to everything that comes their way.  No fine print reading going on there!  Just Accept Accept Accept until you get to add Uncle Marv’s birthday reminder.


Thanks for the heads up!

From Sue on July 18, 2012 :: 10:01 am

Thanks for the heads up for what Facebook is doing.  I do not like them offering posts for things that I have not personally endorsed.


Facebook 'Timeline'

From Deeli on July 18, 2012 :: 10:44 am

Not only can you ‘unlike’ something but you can also ‘delete’ comment posts you may have made at assorted links by doing this:

To hide a story so that it no longer appears on your timeline: Hover over the story and click on the little exclamation looking icon that pops up and Click Hide from Timeline but note that stories you hide will still show up in your activity log, which only you can see. If you would like to completely remove a story you posted from Facebook altogether, you can do so by selecting Delete Post….

Thank you Techlicious for this article because I was ticked off all this stuff was showing up and didn’t know how to get rid of it ... Grrrr !!! I won’t be unliking or deleting this particular post from my personal page in order to educate others on how to get rid of anything unwanted wink


Good luck with "delete"

From Will on July 18, 2012 :: 1:27 pm

Delete on Facebook isn’t really delete. It’s hide from immediate viewing and bury into your Facebook personal data (at least until such a time the price is right, the government wants it, or whatever the Builderberger (SP?) Group relationship with Zuckerberg may allow them to access.

You can delete, yes. But don’t expect it to disappear into the void.


Just followed your instructions and

From Linda Kay McFarland on July 18, 2012 :: 11:00 am

Just followed your instructions and find there is no easy way (easy being one click) to “unlike”. Have to get back to the page and click unlike. I will have to try again to see if i can do it better, but seemed like several steps, then more steps to get back to the page you started from.


Instructions for Linda

From Deeli on July 18, 2012 :: 11:23 am

Just go to your personal page, click on ‘Timeline’ and it should show everything pertaining to you. Then follow the second paragraph instructions of what I wrote in the post above yours. (The little icon I mentioned actually looks more like a pen or pencil rather than an exclamation.) Follow those second paragraph instructions and your page should simply show it is gone/deleted rather than reverting you to another page.


thanks, deeli

From Linda Kay McFarland on July 18, 2012 :: 12:34 pm

I was commenting on the article. Had not read the comments, and appreciate your reply. I have often deleted facebook posts and blocked future posts. I was speaking to actually removing the pages from my like list to clean things up, things that I only did for a promotion or is no longer relevant.


Facebook autoposts

From David on July 18, 2012 :: 12:07 pm

It’s not a problem for Facebook to post using my name, since I don’t belong (which is the correct relationship) to Facebook.  That’s the only way to stop them from doing what they want - drive them bankrupt.  Not gonna happen, though.


I do not see the

From marjorie bryant on July 18, 2012 :: 4:29 pm

I do not see the word timeling on my facebook page and would love to unlike everything as many things have been passed on to friends


ok I found about but

From marjorie bryant on July 18, 2012 :: 4:34 pm

ok I found about but when I go to it there are no likes listed


For Marjorie

From Deeli on July 18, 2012 :: 4:58 pm

Marjorie, I can’t remember exactly where I found the timeline info link but now that I’ve already clicked on it and done deletions I don’t see it at all (probably because it’s already accepted on my account) ... Since you can’t find it try just hovering over something you would like to delete on your regular page and I think a pop-up box should still open where you can choose to click on that pencil for choices ... Even though I can’t find the timeline link anymore I now have that option to delete what haven’t already deleted ... If that doesn’t work let me know and I’ll find out how to help you but also if it does work that way for you let me know just to be able share the knowledge with others if they need it ...


they went as far as to not let me on

From Pam Ferguson on July 18, 2012 :: 8:23 pm

facebook came on and said I had a virus and that I would have to go to mc gafee or whatever that is and when I tried to get out it wouldn’t let me and do anything and now it pops that back up and I can’t get on fb unless I do it and I don’t want to so I can’t get on fb on this computer or any other!  fb can stuff it as far as I am concerned but would like to get my info off and will miss “talking to the friends on there


Don't ignore that message

From Josh Kirschner on July 18, 2012 :: 9:18 pm

If Facebook is detecting you have malware on your PC, it’s quite possible you do and you need to download antimalware software as soon as possible to check and resolve to issue. You can download the free antimalware from Facebook or purchase your own (our recommendations are here:

For more information about Facebook’s malware detection process and software, see this article:


For Pam Regarding Virus

From Deeli on July 18, 2012 :: 10:35 pm

If Facebook is telling you that you have a virus then you most likely do have one ... Go to this link and download a free version of Malwarebytes ... Run a quick scan and then follow instructions of how to get rid of that virus ... I’ve been using Malwarebytes for over five years and they get rid of the nasty stuff every single time ...;rcol


Thanks, Deeli for mentioning Malwarebytes.

From Josh Kirschner on July 18, 2012 :: 11:48 pm

Thanks, Deeli for mentioning Malwarebytes. It is among the best malware cleaning tools out there. I use it myself, occasionally, just to doublecheck Norton is doing its job on my PC.

Want to clarify, though, that the free version of Malwarebytes doesn’t offer malware monitoring. For constant protection, you will either need to purchase the paid version or download another software program.



From Tania D on July 18, 2012 :: 10:59 pm

It says in this column that the only way you can stop seeing friends posts is to un-friend them. This is incorrect. You can manage your friends posts so that they don’t come up on your news feed.


It is correct

From Josh Kirschner on July 18, 2012 :: 11:40 pm

You can manage your friends’ posts. However, these posts aren’t coming from your friends, they are being posted by Facebook based on who your friends are and what they like.


Thanks Josh :-)

From Deeli on July 19, 2012 :: 12:36 pm

Thanks for the thanks, Josh! I use McAfee and then also scan with the free Malwarbytes nightly grin


Some of us like it

From Darlene Littlejohn on July 20, 2012 :: 11:54 am

Some of us only use Facebook for political or business reasons.  We like the fact that FB is posting anything that we say or ‘Like’ all over the place.

Unless it is a private message, I never put anything in FB that I don’t want the world to see.



From Roger on July 20, 2012 :: 12:43 pm

I really do hope they are not posting messages like this as I flatly refuse to use facebook or any other social media site. I distrust them intensely. As it is my non-directory phone number is all over the net and despite being on the local non-cold calling system, I still get cold callers and they are getting worse!


FB uninvited posts

From Ed Wode on July 20, 2012 :: 12:46 pm

I noted in the above article that you said you can unfriend people to stop some of these unwanted posts. That’s not true. I am now getting posts from people I have unfriended or hidden. It’s bloody outrageous. FB should have some decent competition and probably they would go the way of My Space. And good riddance.


Seems to me....

From Paul Bialozor on July 20, 2012 :: 2:46 pm

It seems to me that if you feel the need to censor your POSTS, regardless of what they are, because you are worried about OFFENDING someone, then you do not know how to choose friends.  A friend will be there for you regardless of what political party they belong to or what lube they use in their private life.  I lost a friend of 30+ years because he choose to delete me because I am a Conservative and he is a Liberal.  I am glade to see him go because truth be told he was not much of a friend because he choose FREE HEALTHCARE over our FRIENDSHIP.  FaceBook does STUPID THINGS and does go into Gray Areas often, but they will not ever go so far as to post something from you that you do not authorize.  Censorship does not benefit ANYONE for ANY REASON.  Freedom of Speech is what America was Founded on and I suggest Folks get back to the REPUBLIC WAY of thinking and lose the DEMOCRACY that is attempting to TAKE OVER AMERICA.  This is not Republican vs Democraps, but The Republic, which AMERICA IS, vs DEMOCRACY which is where Liberals and Progressives what America to BE.  Needless to say I will stand and fight for the REPUBLIC against ANY DEMOCRACY ANY DAY OF THE WEEK…  Thanks for listening…



From Michele Schiegner on July 20, 2012 :: 3:47 pm

This is for Pam and everyone who answered her note.  Facebook also blocked me out saying I had a virus and offered me the URL for McAfee.  Even though my Microsoft Security Essentials had assured me that my computer was virus-free, I tried the McAfee, because I wanted back in to FB.  I never could get it to run,  So, I took the advice offered by Josh and Deeli,and ordered Malwarebytes, ran i, and they found a lot of stuff that I didn’t need but no virus.  I removed it all, and tried to get into FB and they still have me blocked saying I have a virus.  I think the problem lies with them.


Here's a possible solution

From Josh Kirschner on July 20, 2012 :: 9:39 pm

It looks like Facebook may be flashing this warning if they detect suspicious activity in your account. So it may not actually be a virus related issue, but may indicate your account has been hacked or compromised in some way.

Go to this link and follow the link there for McAfee and, if that doesn’t work, try the Microsoft Security Essential link:

Hopefully, that will get you up and going.


Been There, Done That!

From Michele Schiegner on July 21, 2012 :: 6:57 am

Thanks, Josh, but I’ve been all through that and they still won’t let me in.  The McAfee wouldn’t run, Microsoft Essentials, which is what I use, ran twice, before and after, and declared me okay.  I also ran Malwarebytes and cleaned out a lot of stuff, but to no avail.  That’s why I think it’s FB.  It saddens be because I have really enjoyed my association up until now.


To Josh

From Michele Schiegner on July 21, 2012 :: 8:21 am

I just accessed the site you recommended and it said that the McAfee doesn’t work for some people and that they would let me know when it started working.  I think that it is still not working.  As I said, I have already run Microsoft Security Essentials which I do frequently.  I really want back on FB, so if you’re any way connected,  could you find out what the problem is?  Thanks.


Wish I could

From Josh Kirschner on July 21, 2012 :: 9:09 pm

Unfortunately, we don’t have any connections with Facebook support (that is a practically impenetrable domain).  I think that you are right that it is a Facebook issue, not something wrong with your computer. What happens, tough, when you try to log in through another computer?

Unreasonable FB Requests

From Derek on July 20, 2012 :: 3:56 pm

I’ve been locked out of my FB account for over a year. All “Help” suggestions on-line were of no help. I couldn’t find how to contact a real peson to help me. Recently, I got an email (probably automated) expressing regret at my difficulty logging into FB; it provided a link to get it working again. The linked pages proceeded to ask for a series of personal identifications - the sort that all security posts agree should NEVER be sent over the internet. The pages claimed they were doing this to ensure that I’m really me, but I began to question whether this was really FaceBook; maybe it was some elaborately well-done spoof.

FB, in the final analysis, just isn’t important enough to me to put a lot of time and risk into getting back into it. FB will forever have an orphaned account sitting in their system.


You lose copyright by posting _anything_.

From Eruadan on July 20, 2012 :: 4:04 pm

It’s my understanding that once you post something on any site, _they_ and not you own what you posted.  So, FB posting your private posts on their newsfeed is probably within (barely) their legal rights. 

Every time I get just about to the point of joining FB, I run across another of these items on what they do that is not in our best interests, so I have not yet joined.  I may never join.



dump facebook

From dump facebook on July 20, 2012 :: 4:48 pm

plz people,

its time to grow up & dump the garbage that facebook is. the concept might be good ( like the EU ), but in reality, its a waste of time & borders invasion of privacy.

i never signed up for a facebook account. i followed the old investment adage - be a contrarian to be successful, sell when everybody is buying & buy when everyone is selling. i didnt trust it at the beginning, i even trust it less now.

what you post on the internet, is basically immortal, remember.

my 2 cents


One Reason NOT to Use FaceBook

From DaGrinch on July 20, 2012 :: 5:09 pm

Yep, this article just points out one reason why I don’t use FB.  I do not like their lack of privacy and I don’t need my information and “likes” plastered all over the place.  If I have to restrict the settings so much as to weed out who and what I don’t want, then I don’t need FB.


Um, no, sorry, wrong, you CAN control this... Easily

From Peter Principle on July 20, 2012 :: 7:33 pm

In fact, you can control whether or not your content is shared without you sharing it, including exactly the kind of “likes” and content described. It’s not hidden and it’s not difficult, unless you’re a “tech writer” for a “tech” site who couldn’t find your own ass with a topo map, flashlight and sherpa, I guess…

The lazy hack “journalist” you cited has it precisely ass backwards. You can’t control what you see from friends in your feed, but you most certainly CAN control what others see from you. Not to mention, you can control whether or not you see “feeds” at all.

To prevent your name/pic/likes/posts being shared in ads or recommendations without your direct action, go to…

Account Settings/Facebook Ads/Edit social ad settings

...then click “Pair my social actions with ads for” and select “No one”

That’s it. Done. Fin. Over. Hardly rocket science. And hard to believe the “journalist” gets paid for such thoroughly crappy, lazy and just plain wrong “work.”


Amazing How nasty People Can Be :-(

From Deeli on July 20, 2012 :: 7:53 pm

Peter Principle, I find the name you’ve chosen to use is incredibly ironic and believe you’ve reached the actual Peter Principle meaning of ‘level of incompetence’ based on your uncalled for rant attack here ... Perhaps you could read the article again and even keep personal attacks and potty mouth trolling to yourself in the future ...


No Peter, you can't.

From Josh Kirschner on July 20, 2012 :: 9:22 pm

Hi Peter,

Always a pleasure to have people like you commenting on the site. What you’re describing is correct for “Facebook ads”. However, what we are talking about is something Facebook refers to as “Facebook content”. Here is the information directly from Facebook on how this process works and why it CANNOT be controlled with the social ad setting:

Facebook content
We like to tell you about some of the features and tools your friends and others use on Facebook, to help you have a better experience. For example, if your friend uses our friend finder tool to find more friends on Facebook, we may tell you about it to encourage you to use it as well. This of course means your friend may similarly see suggestions based on the things you do. But we will try to only show it to friends that could benefit from your experience.

Your Show my social actions in Facebook Ads setting only controls ads with social context. It does not control Sponsored Stories, ads or information about Facebook’s services and features, or other Facebook content.

And here’s the direct link if you would like to read it yourself: Let me know if you need a flashlight or sherpa to help find it.

Josh Kirschner
Hack “Journalist”, Techlicious



From Steve S on July 20, 2012 :: 9:46 pm

How about an article about how to quit Faceook and erase any information that ever showed your presence.


Facebook may use my info

From Paultx on July 20, 2012 :: 11:58 pm

Facebook may use my info as they like. I have the power to decide to or not buy anything they try to sell. I can close my account whenever I want. The rest is for my use. I mean, no big deal here.


mark the crook

From rclyburn on July 21, 2012 :: 12:19 am

I have been saying for a very long time that zuckerberg was a criminal. he keeps doing all of these things that are, if not outright illegal, border on legality. he has absolutely no morals when it comes to making a buck. for instance, he knew there were problems and that the stock would not go the way he advertised but he started selling stock nevertheless so that when facebook goes belly up he will not be broke. i was talked into getting a facebook account a few months ago and monitored it very carefully. i set my account as private but, irregardless of that, i started receiving friend requests from people i have never known. some privacy huh? i tried to close my account but their system does not allow it. they will remove you from active but your info is theirs forever and you can’t make them erase it short of a court order and i suspect zuckerberg will not even do it then. you know how crooks are…


I don't care

From Snert on July 21, 2012 :: 10:35 am

FB can do what they want as far as I’m concerned. I never post anything that I wouldn’t want everyone to know. I’m on it only to trade remarks with friends and family. We’re sarcastic and snide and hard to offend. we like it taht way.
So, FarceBook, do your damnest and see if I GAS!



From CC-Gal on July 21, 2012 :: 10:49 am

How ironic that an article which exposes facebook flaws, is followed up with a comment area which you can log into via facebook…which will then share your comments with your facebook friends….and I’m guessing it’s a public posting not a friends only posting.


Sharing is optional

From Josh Kirschner on July 23, 2012 :: 8:12 pm

If you log in via Facebook to comment, it won’t be posted to Facebook unless the box is checked to “Post my comment on my Facebook Profile.” It should follow your posting settings on Facebook for visiblity (i.e., for e, it posts comments as “friends only”). We also, of course, give you the option NOT to log in via Facebook to comment. grin


I thought of this after

From snert on July 21, 2012 :: 11:03 am

I thought of this after I made my other comment.
It would be a lot mure truthful if FB had a disclaimer that went something like this “We’re in charge and we’ll do any damned thing we want with anything you put on here and there’s nothing you can do about it.”


Irony Upon Irony ;-)

From Deeli on July 21, 2012 :: 11:11 am

True the irony CC-GAl but did you notice that you are at least allowed the choice NOT to login in via Facebook which many sites don’t even offer wink



From Ron Hill on July 22, 2012 :: 7:47 am

With all this malarky regarding Facebook, how can I totally deactivate or decommission my Facebook account?


Dumb comments

From Stuart on July 23, 2012 :: 1:13 pm

Facebook is like Twitter - they both encourage ‘thinking out aloud’, which is always a risky activity. And if one decides to post dumb things on either medium, or post your likes and dislikes [as if anyone is actually interested], only to have it repeated to the world at large, then you deserve everything coming your way.


facebook hags

From rclyburn on July 23, 2012 :: 8:41 pm

i would be willing to bet all of these people who are saying on here that it is easy to delete posts and all this other crap are probably being paid to say those things. if everybody talks and finds that everybody is having problems then everybody leaves and facebook goes belly up. facebook has problems because zuckerberg is trying to rip everyone off. he is a crook as are his cronies on here who keep defending facebook. the only reason the government has not stepped in and shut them down is because of kickbacks they are receiving. everybody needs to bail on facebook so that zuckerberg can not pay off the government for protection anymore and he will finally be prosecuted for the con game he has been playing for many years now. unfortunately, that will never happen because of all the twits who can’t live without facebook. you know, the ones who have to check their facebook page every 5 minutes. all they are is cattle. if someone posted on facebook that they should all jump in the pacific and drown there would suddenly be reports of millions of people drowning in the ocean.



From Quantum Duck on July 25, 2012 :: 4:52 pm

Easy way to avoid—don’t belong to facebook!


Facebook? Really

From VFP on August 05, 2012 :: 3:38 pm

Anyone ever consider NOT using FB?  The minute you post anything personal, it immediately becomes fodder for abuse.  Does anyone really believe the internet to be secure and a reliable medium through which one may post anything without fear of it getting misued?

Any social media forum will come back to bite anyone using it.  Caveat Emptor…

Maybe one should not like things so much.



From rclyburn on August 05, 2012 :: 4:50 pm

The only reason I ever joined was because I was talked into it but as soon as I saw all the crap that jerk zuckerberg was pulling on the users, I attempted to close my account but it was already too late. Once they have your info, you’re screwed forever. Rather like a terminal cancer. Good description for zuckercrap. He’s a terminal cancer.


And people wonder why I don't Facebook or Twitter

From PCFerret on September 02, 2012 :: 7:34 am

It’s because of things like this that leads me to not trusting them at all.


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