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The Complete Guide to Facebook Privacy Settings

by on March 20, 2018
in Facebook, Computers and Software, Computer Safety & Support, Tips & How-Tos, Privacy, Tech 101, Social Networking :: 310 comments

Privacy concerns and privacy controls on Facebook are ever changing. When you post a picture of your kids at a family gathering, which one of your Facebook friends can share it? What private information are those Facebook game apps collecting on you for "third-party uses"? How do you make sure that live video stream is seen only by people you choose? Every action you take on Facebook has privacy and sharing implications that need to be considered before you upload that next selfie.

Fortunately, thanks to vocal demands for transparency from both Facebook users and government regulators around the world, Facebook has been making the process of managing your privacy easier. Below is our step-by-step guide to taking full control of your Facebook privacy settings.

Facebook Privacy

The basic privacy options

If you’re not ready to dive into Facebook’s substantial settings menu, there’s a more user-friendly guide through the more vital privacy settings. Click on the question mark symbol in the top right of any Facebook page when you’re logged in, and select Privacy Check-up, an easy-to-follow walkthrough of your current settings as they pertain to "Posts", "Apps" and "Profile".

(Alternately, for an even quicker speed-tuneup, you can adjust who can see your posts, send you friend requests, or block users by hitting the question mark symbol and selecting Privacy shortcuts.)

Posts

Starting with Posts, you can check your default sharing setting. We recommend the Friends setting over the Public one. When set to Public all your posts can be seen by anyone on or off Facebook. Unless you're a celebrity or running a page that is used to generate interest in a business you run, you will likely want to keep your activity restricted to those you have Friended.

The Friend setting has a few tweaks you should be aware of as well. By clicking on the sharing setting button, then the More Options button, you will see the Custom option. Click on that and you will see that you can include all your Friends while excluding the names of certain Facebook friends you don't want to see your updates. It is also important to note that the Friends of anyone tagged in your post or photos will be able to see that post unless you uncheck the option in this window.

If you have joined any Facebook groups or made lists of Facebook friends, you can restrict the posts that way or hide your posts from those groups and lists as well. Want just your college friends to see your late night party pictures? Want to make sure your work friends don't see your selfie at the beach when you called in sick? This is where these restrictions could come in handy both on a per post basis or as an overall option.

Finally, remember that you can change the sharing settings of any individual Facebook update by clicking on the sharing button to the left of the Post button. You can even go back to change settings of previous posts by clicking on the people icon at the top of the post, to the right of the date stamp.

Facebook Privacy: Check Your Status Update Settings

Apps

Remember the Candy Crush Facebook game you played too much last year? How about that Instagram Facebook app you forgot you installed? Each app on the site you agreed to install has permission to post to your Friends list unless you told it otherwise at the time you installed it. Can't remember? This part of the tool shows you each app attached to your account and what sharing permissions it has. These settings also control who can see that you have the app installed.

If you don't use the app anymore, just delete it by clicking on the x. While checking my own app list while writing this guide, I found many apps I no longer use that had sharing rights on my account. I deleted all that I'm not actively using and set the sharing permissions of the remaining ones to Only Me.

Facebook Privacy

Profile

Here you can see the privacy setting on your email addresses, birthday, hometown, relationship status and other personal details about your life. Under emails it will show the one you registered with when you first signed up for Facebook as well as one Facebook has assigned to you (which you likely will never use). I discovered that I left my Gmail account public, which I hadn't meant to.

For your birthday, the sharing settings are split between the day/month and the year. That way your Friends can wish you happy birthday on Facebook on your special day without necessarily knowing your exact age.

For hometown, this setting only affects what your Friends can see. Advertisers and others may still access this information, especially if you are using the Facebook app which tracks your location automatically.

Finally, if you have set a relationship with another Facebook user, it will be shared unless you set otherwise.

It's important to note that this is only a partial list of the information you're sharing. To see the full list, click the My About Page button, which will take you to your profile page. On there, you can review the various sections—Work and Education, Places You've Lived, Contact and Basic Info, Family and Relationships, Details About You, and Life Events —and make changes hovering over each and clicking the link that appears.

Facebook Privacy

The advanced privacy options

Here you can exert more control of what is being shared with whom. Which is never a bad idea. You've likely gone through this at least once in the past, but it's a great idea to review your settings at least once a year.

To get to the advanced privacy settings, click the drop down arrow in the top right on any Facebook page, click "Settings," and then "Privacy" in the left navigation column. 

Who can see my stuff?

Who can see your future posts? This is the same as the Your Posts section above. 

Review all your posts and things you're tagged in Ever been tagged in an embarrassing photo uploaded by that distant college classmate? You can use the Activity Log page and select the Posts You're Tagged In (in the left column) and the Photos > Photos of You (also in the left column) to check out what you've been tagged in. You can then remove the tag (click the dropdown arrow on the left of the post or photo and then click on the the Remove Tag button at the top of the page) or simply click Hide so they don’t appear on your Timeline.

Review your other activity on Facebook. Hitting “More” after Photos, Likes and Comments reveals other items that may have been automatically posted to your Timeline and your friends’ news feeds, including friends made, events attended, and videos watched (these are embedded video posts that are separate from video apps, and isn’t controlled from the Apps menu above).

Some of these, such as friends made, can only be tweaked to be allowed or hidden on your Timeline. For “videos watched”, you can hover over the padlock to view who can see that you’ve watched it, or choose to delete the post. You can also Clear Video Watch History at the top of the page, and manually update privacy settings by individual posts from music, news and games apps. Click on each section to make sure that the audiences for every category of activity is ok with you.

Limit the audience for your old posts for your Timeline This will revert all your previous posts from "Public" or "Friends of Friends" to just "Friends". But if you've tagged a Friend in one of your posts, their Friends can see that since that is the default setting when tagging someone.

Facebook Live – private, friends or public? For live video stream posts from your smartphone, the default setting for each video stream will be the privacy level you set for regular posts and photos.

You may want to be a little less selective for live-stream video if you’re shooting something news-worthy (or if your plan is to go viral), or more selective when you’re just testing something out.

Either way, fire up the usual status update and select Live Video or the little red person icon. If it’s your first time, you’ll also want to grant Facebook permission to access your camera and microphone. You’ll see your name and profile pic and underneath, the permission level for the video. Tap to edit and select an audience from options of Friends, friends minus a couple no-no’s for reasons of your own, or public to be viewable by anyone on or off Facebook.

If you run a Facebook Page and have professional video software or hardware (more information here) you can also stream from your computer, but as you’re assumed to want to reach your usual audience, there’s no option to tweak post visibility separate to your regular posts.

Who can contact me?

Who can send you friend requests? The default is Everybody, but the only other choice is Friends of Friends.

Who can look me up?

Who can you look you up with the email address you provided? If someone types in the email address you registered with, they can send you a message which will likely land in the Other tab on the Messages page. You can restrict it to Friends of Friends or just Friends (who can message you anyway), if you don't want to be bothered.

Who can look you up using the phone number you provided? Same as the email address.

Do you want other search engines to link to your timeline? Your first impulse may be to turn this off, but Facebook only allows information you've marked as Public to be shown to other search engines. They see it as a way for friends not on Facebook to find you. They do this with your basic information they always make public which is, according to Facebook, "...your name, gender, username and user ID (account number), profile picture, cover photo and networks." Whatever you choose for all three of the above settings, anyone will still be able to find your profile simply by looking up your name in Facebook search.

Facebook Timeline and Tagging Settings

Timeline and tagging options

Now that you've mastered the basics, go down to the next section, Timeline and Tagging. From there, you can control exactly who sees what on your timeline, who can post to your timeline, and who can tag you in photos and posts.

To customize your timeline settings, click on the down arrow in the far upper right corner to reveal a drop-down menu and select Settings.

Who can add things to my timeline?

Who can post on your timeline? It's set by default to Friends and the only other option is to allow only yourself to post on your timeline.

Review posts friends tag you in before they appear on your timeline? If you are concerned about getting tagged in a photo that you don't want all your friends on Facebook to see, this is the setting for you. Once enabled, you'll have to manually approve any photo or posts you are tagged in before they appear on your timeline. Note that this only affects your timeline; those updates will still appear in searches, the news feed and other places unless you un-tag yourself. (Alternately, you can extricate yourself from incriminating posts by clicking on the offending post, then the arrow in the top right to “Remove Tag”.)

Who can see things on my Timeline?

Review what other people see on your Timeline. Click “View As” for the perfect way to check that your mother or boss won't see what you don't want them to.

Who can see posts you've been tagged in on your Timeline? These areas give you a great deal of flexibility, with options ranging from Everyone to Friends of Friends to custom lists. Using this and the below setting in conjunction with manually approving what photos and updates you've been tagged in goes a long way to keep prying eyes away from more sensitive Facebook updates.

Who can see what others post on your timeline? As above, you have flexibility with options ranging from Everyone to Friends of Friends to custom lists. Using this in conjunction with manually approving what photos and updates you've been tagged in goes a long way to keep prying eyes away from more sensitive Facebook updates.

How can I manage tags people add and tagging suggestions?

Review tags people add to your own posts before the tags appear on Facebook? This is an important option if you are concerned about a photo appearing on your profile. This applies only to photo tagging by your Facebook friends. You'll always be notified if someone who's not your friend tags you in a photo.

When you're tagged in a post, who do you want to add to the audience if they aren't already in it? This one sounds more complicated than it is. Often a Facebook friend of yours will make a post and tag you in it. The option here allows all of your Facebook friends to see an update or photo you've been tagged in by someone they aren't friends with themselves (the Friends of Friends function). You can choose to remain tagged but have none of your other Facebook friends see that update, limit who sees that update to certain groups of friends, or you can outright block certain Facebook friends altogether by using the Custom option.

Who sees tag suggestions when photos that look like you are uploaded? Facebook uses face-matching technology to suggest who you should tag in photos. It will only suggest people that are on the user's friends list. If you don't want to show up as an option when your friends are tagging photos, set this to No One.

Facebook Manage Blocking

Manage blocking

If you want to take steps to keep people away from your profile, this is the section for you.

Restricted list

If you don't want to un-friend somebody but also don't want them to see all of your information, you can add them to the Restricted List. This means they can see your public information, but they have no way of knowing you’ve limited their view (unless they happen to see someone browsing your profile who isn't restricted).

Block users

You can also just straight up block somebody. This means this person cannot be your friend. This is an excellent setting if you have stalkers or other people consistently bothering you. Note that this does not stop them from interacting with you in apps, games or groups you're both a part of.

Block messages

Block messages If you’re receiving unwelcome messages and video calls from someone, you can put a stop to that here – and it carries over to the Messenger app too. However, the pest in question will still be able to post to your Timeline unless you block them as a user (above). 

Block app invites

In addition to blocking and restricting people from your profile, you can also block app invitations on a user-by-user basis. So if your Aunt Jackie keeps bombarding you with FarmVille apps, you know what to do.

Block event invites

Tired of your nephew inviting you to his New York City raves every weekend? Typing the name of the Facebook user into this section will stop you from seeing any future event invites from that person.

Block apps

Some apps and Facebook games are great fun at first, but after a while, you want to drop them. You can remove the app or game (see the Apps you use section, below) or block the app, which means it can no longer contact you or get non-public information about you through Facebook. If you are getting emails from the app, you will have to use the unsubscribe link at the bottom of the email.

Block pages

Is that discount fashion site you liked bombarding you with updates from its Facebook Page? Block ‘em here, where you’ll also automatically unlike and unfollow the Page. You can also block other Pages (i.e., public pages for businesses and celebrities) from commenting on or liking your posts.

Customize app privacy

You handled a lot of this with the Privacy Checkup, but in the Settings section there are additional controls for the apps where you’ve logged in with Facebook. 

App settings

Facebook app privacy

Click on each app to view the information that it is collecting from your Facebook profile – your public profile, as well as things like your friends list, date of birth, pages you like, and more. Here you can tweak which of these pieces of data can be collected (except public profile, which is required by all apps). You can also remove the app entirely from the main screen by clicking the ‘X’, however, that doesn’t delete the information the app already has about you.

For future app logins with Facebook, it’s wise to set what info the app can collect – when signing up for the first time, click “Edit This” to choose which data you want to share. 

Apps, websites and Platforms

Facebook Platform and Apps Others Use

Facebook Platform provides third parties access to personal data you share with Facebook. It's how Cambridge Analytica, the company was recently suspended by Facebook while under investigation for election interference, was able to access the data of more than 50 million users in 2014. Facebook Platform also enables third parties you engage with to collect information on your Facebook friends.

Disabling Facebook Platform means you’ll no longer be able to login to websites, mobile games or applications using Facebook or see app requests from friends, but you’ll still be able to use apps and play games on Facebook and elsewhere. If you choose to keep Facebook Platform enabled, you can limit your exposure by selecting the data that apps that your Facebook Friends use can access. 

Facebook app settings

Apps others use

When your Facebook friends use certain apps, those apps access your public information and more. See the full list in the image to the right. There's quite a bit you may not be comfortable sharing without your knowledge. Most of it is enabled by default. Be sure to go through the list and check off what you don't want shared. Note that your public profile info, friend list and gender is not on this list - but these are shared with your friends’ apps (unless you turn off Platform, above). 

Follower Settings

Facebook follower privacy settings

If you’re lucky enough to have people hanging off your every post, you can decide to widen your net of followers here. Friends follow by default, but you can change it to the only other option - let Everyone view your public posts (you can set public-ness each time you post). 

Ads

targeted advertising. Here you can see what information is influencing the ads you see, on Facebook and around the web.

Your information

Under About you, you can turn off whether details such as your relationship status, education level or job title can be used to target advertising to you. However, this does not stop Facebook from using this information to categorize your profile for advertisers, or from ads being shown.

Your categories

Want to know who exactly Facebook’s advertisers think you are? Click here to see what descriptors that your activity on Facebook and outside has revealed about you. Most of my fields were related to factual items such as “Gmail Users”, though there were a couple interesting deductions too, such as “Early technology adopters”.

You can delete them all to start afresh, or if you want no interest-based ads on or off Facebook. Just click the X on the right of each item.  

Facebook Ads privacy

Ad Settings

Ads based on myour use of websites and apps Thanks to the Facebook “Like” buttons littered around the internet, and snippets of code that mean non-Like-enabled sites are still reporting movement back to Facebook, nearly anywhere you click online is used to build a profile of you that Facebook can then sell to advertisers so they can show targeted ads to you while you’re browsing Facebook.

If that makes you uncomfortable, you can turn it off here. You’ll still see advertising on Facebook, it just won’t be based on all those steam mops you were looking up.    

Ads on apps and websites off of the Facebook Companies Since Facebook operates its own ad network of sites, it can also target you with ads even when you’re not browsing Facebook – essentially, at any site that uses its ad technology. But the permission is trickily worded – it asks if it can use your Facebook ad preferences, so choose Yes and make sure you review the section below entitled Ad Preferences. Even if you’ve always turned off targeted ads based on browsing (above), Facebook can use information on your profile, such as Likes, to create ad preferences.

Regardless, you’ll most likely still receive targeted ads outside Facebook that are based on your age, gender and location, as well as browsing activity on sites that are part of other ad networks. If you want to stop seeing-based ads in general, you can opt out at the Digital Advertising Alliance - though it notes that the opt-out can only apply to participating companies.

Ads with your social actions

If you like, comment on or share a Page (say, owned by a business or brand), Facebook can broadcast it as an advertisement to all your friends.

This also applies to apps used (for example, Spotify) and events joined (say, if you hit attend for a café’s Veggie Fridays). You can flip the audience for all this between Friends and No One.

And that's Facebook Privacy in a (gigantic) nutshell

That covers your privacy setting options on Facebook. If you want to dig in even further, Facebook has a page explaining the basics of Facebook privacy tools as well as Facebook's latest data policies.

Updated on 6/26/2017

[shocked woman with laptop via Shutterstock, all other images via Facebook]



Discussion loading

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I have divided all my

From Tony on January 21, 2016 :: 8:21 pm

I have divided all my friends into two lists, so I can choose either audience when I post on my wall (sometimes I duplicate posts for both audiences). As far as I understand, when someone comments on one of my posts that have been shown to a particular list, only people from the same list can see that comment. However, I cannot find any way to also make posts from friends on my wall to be visible only to people from the same list of the friend who wrote the post. The point is that I just want to keep both lists of friends completely separate (obviously without creating two separate profiles). The “hiding friends from profile” option is a joke, since friends are revealed whenever they comment or post - at least I’d like to hide my friends to people on the “other” list (if everybody can see posts from everybody else that’d be impossible), and the “hide to acquaintainces” option is not valid either, since that would hide all posts to these people, but I only want to hide posts from the “other” list. Thanks!

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My friends can't suggest me as a friend to others

From Kristin Tang on January 26, 2016 :: 4:31 pm

My friends can’t suggest me as a friend to others, nor can they suggest friends to me. The “Suggest friends” option are lacking in the Friends menu on my profile. Choosing “Suggest friends” on other friends’ profiles, my name doesn’t appear in the list. Is there any way to fix this?

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posting in a group

From erika on January 28, 2016 :: 9:07 am

hi, i am a member of a closed group and since it became closed i can’t post anything anymore but i can like and comment on other people’s posts. are there some privacy settings i should change and which?
thanks

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How does this work on Public posts?

From John on February 11, 2016 :: 12:53 pm

I have two friends (who are not FB friends with each other), each with Public profiles that they keep completely open, and all their posts are marked Public.

If one friend was to tag me in a post on THEIR timeline (not a picture, but an actual post where I’m tagged), will this appear on the Newsfeed of the second person? Can I prevent this? I’m a little shaky since both profiles are Public and I don’t know how that works. Thank you!

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You can prevent it, but not proactively

From Josh Kirschner on February 11, 2016 :: 4:33 pm

You will get a notification when you’re tagged in a post and you can then review the post in your Activity Log, found in your Timeline, or directly through your friend’s profile. Once you find the post, use the little dropdown icon in the top right of the post and you’ll see an option to “Remove tag”.

You can’t directly control what others are shown in their newsfeed (that’s all based on Facebook’s internal algorithms). So it is possible that Facebook MAY show the post in the other friend’s feed if you’re tagged. If you allow tagged posts to be added to your timeline, they will definitely show up in your other friend’s newsfeed. I am not as sure of the answer if you don’t allow the tagged posts to show in your timeline (also controlled through your Facebook privacy settings).

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Privacy by location

From Del Malcolm on February 13, 2016 :: 9:40 am

In the post’s privacy options I see you can pick from geographical locations in a list of places you’ve lived. But is this going to share with people who are listed as living there now, or will it include those who are ‘from’ that area and/or people who also lived there in the past?

Basically I want to withhold some chat about my history from new friends in my new town, but is okay with old friends who also lived there years ago.

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Privacy Tag related question?

From James on March 29, 2016 :: 7:36 am

Hi Josh, firstly thank you so much for you time and dedication to answering peoples questions.  My question is; I have a private conversation that I host on my wall and have selected just one person in custom audience. I want to tag that person to alert them when I add to the conversation… but I’m scared that by tagging them there is a possibility that the post will appear on there timeline and could therefore appear on their friends newsfeeds (despite having done the custom audience thing)  What do you think?

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That's a little tricky

From Josh Kirschner on March 29, 2016 :: 8:07 am

According to facebook, “When you tag someone, that content (ex: photo, post) may be shared with the person tagged and their friends. This means that if you haven’t already included their friends in the audience, their friends may now be able to see it. For example, if you tag Jane in a photo shared with your friends, the audience expands to Friends (+) to include your friends and Jane’s.”

So their friends would be able to see the conversation. To prevent this, “you can turn this setting off for each post when you post it. To do this, click the audience selector next to the story, select Custom, and uncheck the Friends of those tagged box.”

But it gets more complicated…Again, according to Facebook, “The audience also expands to Friends (+) when others tag your post or photo.” So even if you set it to private, it would seem your friends could undo your efforts. However, you can approve or dismiss tags that friends add to your posts before they appear on Facebook by following these steps: https://www.facebook.com/help/247746261926036

As the above suggests, Facebook is generally a bad place to hold conversations you truly want to keep private. There are just too many ways to slip up. Also, setting up a Private Group may be easier for you to manage a private conversation than doing it through your wall.

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Awesome

From James on March 29, 2016 :: 9:01 am

Thanks for confirming what I suspected, that it’s a tricky one!  it would only take one slip up or a temporary “overnight” test of a new facebook algorithm and bingo I’ve been a part of revealing personally confidential information..  the two parties involved will either not tag, move to a private group or email! I just loved the convenience of the fb approach grin  you’re a star

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Posts on friends pages

From Melissa Katherine on March 30, 2016 :: 10:00 am

Is there anyway that I can comment on pictures/posts on a friends page but so that their friends cannot see what I have put/said?

Thanks

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No

From Josh Kirschner on March 30, 2016 :: 11:26 am

Privacy settings for a post and comments are controlled by the original poster. So any comments you add will be be visible to anyone who can see the post.

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privacy

From zubia on April 01, 2016 :: 3:22 am

there is not a privacy setting on messages. there should b this setting that no one can send messeges to us

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Public but bloked from certain friends

From Josie Summers on April 20, 2016 :: 2:19 pm

Hello i was wondering if facebook allowed you to share stuff publicly, but stop some of your friends seeing it? Is this an option?

Thanks

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No, and wouldn't be a good idea if you could.

From Josh Kirschner on April 21, 2016 :: 7:37 am

You can block certain people from seeing a post you set to “Friends” in the Custom settings, but not posts set to “Public”. And frankly, not sure why you would want to. If you’re making a post public, there’s always a chance your blocked friends will see it through some means. My advice for Facebook is anything you don’t want everyone to see, don’t post on Facebook, even just to Friends. You never know how or if something is going to leak out because you got the privacy settings wrong or because of a Facebook privacy quirk.

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Privacy glitch on Facebook

From Deborah Ann Towers-Best on May 25, 2016 :: 7:41 am

I recently shared a video with friends but customised the privacy settings so that there were certain people who could not see the video. Facebook assures you that those blocked people will never know that they are blocked. The video was shared on an entertainer page and unfortunately the link to the video shows up (even if a person is blocked). When a blocked person clicks on the link the video does not come up, but just a comment to the effect that they essentially are not allowed to see the video. So basically they do know that they are blocked. This particular instance caused a lot of problems for me at the time.

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Thanks for sharing your story

From Josh Kirschner on May 25, 2016 :: 8:10 am

Facebook is full of privacy “glitches”. For the most part, the privacy settings work as intended, but there are numerous ways things can ultimately leak out. Your story is another example for why my advice has always been to never share anything on Facebook that you wouldn’t be comfortable, in a worst case scenario, with others seeing.

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Privacy levels on Personal and Business page

From Tara Grigg-Tomsett on May 25, 2016 :: 9:02 am

Please can you let me know how I am able to have Private(friends)setting on my personal page, but have my business page set at “public”.  Thank you

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Business pages are always public

From Josh Kirschner on May 25, 2016 :: 3:58 pm

Business pages are intended to be information for the public about a business, so there is no Facebook privacy setting to make them private or just for friends. Why would you want to make your business info private? Perhaps what you are trying to do would be better handled through a Facebook Group?

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From Tara Grigg-Tomsett on June 28, 2016 :: 6:43 am

Thank you for your response, I had been on a FB forum, but they don’t seem to respond, hence me turning to a different help forum.

I totally agree my business page should be public, but it just meant my Personal page was public - I’ve sorted this out since after visiting other sites.
thank you
Tara

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Friends unable to like and comment :(

From Shaan on June 04, 2016 :: 10:20 pm

Once I used the feature of ‘view as’ on facebook to see what some of the friends can see on my profile but I came to found that some of the friends are not able to like and comment but can share. I want to change this to allow all my friends to be able to like and comment my posts.

-The posts were even shared as public and/or friends.

Need help with this asap please.
Thank You smile

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Custom post

From Henry on June 06, 2016 :: 12:20 am

I posted something that I wanted only one friend to see but I don’t want them to know they are the only one I posted to. Will they know that they are the only one that can see it. Like will they have a notification even if I didn’t tag them, etc?

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likes a status privacy

From Jen on June 06, 2016 :: 10:44 pm

How do I change the privacy so my mother can’t see when I like someone’s status or meme? She’s driving me crazy asking What’s wrong, but I don’t want to blocker her from my timeline.

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FanPage problem

From Sara on June 27, 2016 :: 2:08 pm

Post of fanpage is missing when visitor and cunsomer couldn’t see new post when they are trying to view the page

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Is there a setting to people can't see when you were oniine

From Wendy on June 28, 2016 :: 3:31 pm

I find that I dont get online at certain times because how face book shows how long ago I was online…. There are people I dont want to know how long ago when or how many min ago I was online…. I dont want to delete these people.. but I dont want them to know .... 

Is there ANYTHING that can be done?

Thank you so much for your time!!

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The short answer is NO

From Josh Kirschner on June 29, 2016 :: 9:49 am

Unfortunately, there appears to be no way to hide your last active time on Facebook. I researched some of the suggested solutions online and none of them work. Uninstalling Facebook Messenger isn’t the answer because I don’t have Facebook Messenger installed on my device yet my last active time is still displayed. Turning off what information apps can use doesn’t work, because my settings already have last active time unchecked (so apparently only applies to third party apps). And I would stay away from any browser plugins promoted for this purpose because I can’t imagine how they would make a difference and there’s a chance they may be creating their own privacy issues.

This is one of those cases where giving up another component of your privacy is the price you pay for being on Facebook. If you do find a solution, let me know.

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Facebook Times

From Andy Prakken on July 24, 2016 :: 6:27 pm

Josh, Facebook Messenger has nothing to do Facebook itself. You have to login to Messenger from Facebook at the bottom right hand side by clicking onto the square with the pencil Icon. I don’t think Messenger has to be installed on Facebook but I could be in Error. Just commenting on this. Andy.

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You're correct

From Josh Kirschner on July 25, 2016 :: 9:57 am

Messenger doesn’t have to be installed to use Facebook, it is a separate app. I was commenting on some of the common “solutions” I found elsewhere which propose removing Facebook Messenger to fix this issue - it doesn’t work.

Best,
Josh

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posting on my page

From Victor on June 29, 2016 :: 10:32 am

I restrict some people from seeing some of my post, but some I post for all friends. The people who I occasionally restrict aren’t able to post anything to my wall (ie happy birthday, comment on my public posts). How can I allow them to make comments on my page for the posts I allow them to see?

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Guide Dates

From Andy Prakken on July 22, 2016 :: 2:23 pm

Why is it that this Complete Guide is Dated July 22nd, 2016 and the first comment is Dated April 05, 2015? Just Enquiring.

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We update the guide periodically

From Josh Kirschner on July 25, 2016 :: 10:08 am

That’s a fair question. Rather than creating a new guide every time Facebook updates its policies, we update the existing guide and add the update date to the bottom. So you can see that this guide was updated on 7/22/16.

We don’t delete the old comments because often the questions asked and answered are still the same common issues people are facing with current versions of Facebook.

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Guide / Newsletter Date

From Andy Prakken on July 25, 2016 :: 1:54 pm

Seems like a fair reply. However, the update date is also shown at the heading of this newsletter, not just the bottom.

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Yes, we have to do it that way

From Josh Kirschner on July 25, 2016 :: 2:18 pm

The date you see at the top of articles (the “published” date) is used by the system to order articles on the homepage and various list pages; articles are listed chronologically, newest first. When we refresh an article, we update the published date so the refreshed article shows up again on the homepage and elsewhere. We add the “updated xx/xx/xxx” comment make it clear that this is an updated article and help explain why comments may be older than the update date.

BTW, we generally only change the published date when there is a major refresh of the article. If we’re just going in to make minor corrections or notes, we leave the published date alone and will put an update date next to the specific note or change.

Hope that helps clarify.

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Groups and comments

From Shawn on July 25, 2016 :: 1:03 pm

Is there a way to have separate groups of friends not see one another’s comments on a facebook post that you make? For instance I posted a photo and i’d like both groups to be able to make comments if they’d like but not see each the other groups comments?

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Can I have timeline posts be seen but not replied to?

From ERIC on July 30, 2016 :: 12:34 pm

Is there a way to post something to my timeline so my friends can see it but without allowing them to respond or add comments to it?

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Unfortunately, no

From Josh Kirschner on August 09, 2016 :: 4:17 pm

Facebook doesn’t allow you to turn off comments for a single post.

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Public groups

From Georgia on August 07, 2016 :: 2:14 am

Hi I have my profile as private as i can possibly get it, except people can still see some of the groups I am in under public groups.
This wouldn’t usually be an issue but they seem to be the ones that are local so therefore giving out my location to anyone who clicks on my profile whether they are friends or complete strangers.
Is there any possible way to change this to private without having to leave said Groups?

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You can hide your public groups

From Josh Kirschner on August 09, 2016 :: 4:29 pm

You can hide public Groups from your Facebook profile by going to the Groups section and hitting the edit button in the upper right corner of the Group you want to hide.

Note that while this will hide the Group in your profile, if someone goes directly to that Group and looks up members, they will still be able to see that you are a member.

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removing group from my profile

From Kimm Schumacher on August 09, 2016 :: 10:17 pm

Hi, I’ve gone to the upper right hand corner on the group I want to hide on my profile page and it only gives me options of Edit notification, leave group or add to favorites.  HELP

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Go in through your profile page

From Josh Kirschner on August 10, 2016 :: 9:19 am

You need to go to Groups through your profile page. Follow these steps:
1) Go to your profile page
2) Click the More dropdown at the top and select Groups
3) You will now see your Public groups. From here you can change the privacy setting.

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groups

From Victor on August 10, 2016 :: 9:43 am

I have my friends group and a professional group that I set up. The professional group are not able to comment on my wall. Is there any way to change this?

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Groups

From Kimm Schumacher on August 11, 2016 :: 1:25 am

Hi,  I see my public groups listed under my profile page but I don’t see how to edit private groups…. I don’t want my friends who are also in the group notified every time I make a post. HELP

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Group notifications are controlled your friends

From Josh Kirschner on August 22, 2016 :: 2:50 pm

You can’t control what others in the group see. They manage that themselves through the group notifications settings. So if they’re seeing too many group notifications, they can set it to see fewer.

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Commenting on Shared

From Ala Issa on August 20, 2016 :: 2:34 am

When I am commenting on a ‘shared’ post, I want my comment only seen by my Facebook friend who shared the item. How can I do it?

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You can't

From Josh Kirschner on August 22, 2016 :: 2:51 pm

When commenting on a shared post, the privacy settings for the post are controlled by the poster, not you. So anyone else who can see the post will also be able to see your comments.

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Photo tagging privacy settings

From Ann on August 21, 2016 :: 9:45 pm

I have my photo tagging setting to “only me” ... Inevitably friends tag and post photos of me and I don’t like everyone on my Facebook seeing them. However, there are times I feel rude not clicking “like” to some of these photos…. But if I click ” like” won’t that automatically show up in news feeds of all my friends?...and then they see the photos anyway?

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They "might" show up

From Josh Kirschner on August 22, 2016 :: 2:54 pm

Facebook’s algorithms control what ends up in the news feeds of your friends. So if you Like a photo, and that photo’s privacy setting would make it viewable by your friends, then yes it might show up. But only a small percentage of what gets posted actually ends up in your feed, so it’s quite likely your friends won’t see it, even if you Like it.

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Photo tagging privacy

From Ann on August 21, 2016 :: 10:02 pm

I have my photo tagging privacy setting set to ” only me” because I don’t like to have all of my Facebook friends seeing what some friends inevitably tag me in. However, there are times I feel I as if I am being rude if I don’t click ” like” to those pictures in which get posted from time to time. My question is, if do click like, won’t that photo then show up in all of the news feeds of all my friends on Facebook anyway?

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stop notifications to friends when I join a group

From CS on August 31, 2016 :: 11:20 am

So annoying - just can’t find any information anywhere on how to stop friends from getting a notification whenever I join or request to join a group - any ideas? thanks….

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Can you hide a specific friend from just one other person.

From Greg Zeller on September 04, 2016 :: 8:09 am

I am divoreced and still friends with my ex on facebook for the sake of our kids. Recently I started dating someone new but I do not want my ex to see the the new persons profile. Is there a way of hiding/blocking just my ex from seeing just her profile in my friends list or her likes on my posts/shares?

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Privacy

From Cher Herzig Baggett on September 05, 2016 :: 8:02 am

Hello, I don’t want people to know when I’m on facebook.  How do I hide myself from the “online now” list? I have a friend who waits to see that I’m on facebook and immediately starts messaging and texting me.  I just want some privacy.

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