Common Facebook Privacy Misconception About Who Sees What on YOUR Facebook

Facebook privacySome Facebook users still seem to get confused as to who sees what on their Facebook account. Let’s set the record straight today: Your Facebook friends will NOT see your nieces, nephews, other friends, and children’s embarrassing posts that they post to their timelines. You see their updates on your News Feed because you are “friends” with them. This means, you do not have to adjust Facebook privacy settings to make sure no one sees what your family members post. What appears on your news feed is not what appears on others’ Facebook accounts.

The only caveat is if YOU “Like,” or comment on their posts. Then your friends can see your activity in the ticker (streaming list that shows up on the right hand side of your Facebook) and most recent activity on your timeline Activity section. Usually this is very fleeting and only minimally seen. If you’ve actively shared someone else’s update/post to your timeline, then of course it is visible to your friends in their News Feed. Also, if one of your “friends” goes directly to your timeline and “writes something” there then it is shared publicly to other visitors to your timeline and on the poster’s activity feed as well. Additionally, if you have been tagged in a photo or update that will be publicly seen. So you may want to ask your friends/family not to post embarrassing photos of you.  The only other exception to people who will see what your family members (or other friends) post are those people who are also friends with your nieces, nephews, children, grand kids, friends, etc.

In other words, every Facebook user’s Facebook home page is a unique listing (news feed) derived from that user’s friends ONLY. For example if we are friends, I will only see your posts, not your Facebook friends posts.

Want to know WHY your “friends” will not see what your family members are posting? Since your Facebook friends are not Facebook friends with your family, their news feed is only populated by the people they are friends with and the fan pages that they have liked.

What is the Facebook News Feed?

The Facebook news feed is the first page you get to when logging into your Facebook account. By default, it is a listing of the most popular recent posts that your Facebook friends and business pages (you’ve liked) have submitted to their Facebook accounts. Only people who are friends with or have liked that page will see those posts. Facebook further screens the news feed by defaulting to showing the most popular of the posts (they call these posts “Top Stories”). You may manually change the default view to “Most Recent.”

Facebook News Feed Home page options

Your news feed listing is Unique to your account. And as previously mentioned, your “friends” news feeds are unique to them.

 

Friends Unchecking “Comments & Like” or “Photos” Does NOT Keep Your Information Private

Many people have posted this comment on their personal timelines without knowing that this DOES NOT accomplish the task of keeping things private

“Hello, my FB friends: I want to stay PRIVATELY connected with you. I post shots of my family that I don’t want strangers to have access to!!! However, with the recent changes in FB, the “public” can now see activities in ANY wall. This happens when our friend hits “like” or “comment” ~ automatically, their friends would see our posts too. Unfortunately, we cannot change this setting by ourselves because Facebook has configured it this way. PLEASE place your mouse over my name above (DO NOT CLICK), a window will appear, now move the mouse on “FRIENDS” (also without clicking), then down to “Settings”, click here and a list will appear. REMOVE the CHECK on “COMMENTS & LIKE” and also “PHOTOS”. By doing this, my activity among my friends and family will no longer become public. Now, copy and paste this on your wall. Once I see this posted on your page I will do the same. It literally takes 2 seconds. Thank you.”

The above paragraph is not accurate… If you post that message and people follow those instructions, your photos will NEVER ever appear in their news feed and they will never see when you comment or like anyone else’s posts/photos. So they will have to remember to visit your timeline directly if they want to see your photos and updates. As mentioned previously, should they comment or like your photos, it WILL go into the ticker and appear to their friends (or whatever their privacy settings are).

What you want to do is two fold:

  1. change the settings of your updates to Friends Only if you want only your friends to see them.
  2. Go into your privacy settings (Who can see my stuff? > Limit Past Posts) .

If you want to encourage your friends to do anything… it would be to change their privacy settings to Friends Only or not to comment or like your posts (which prevents anything from going out into the ticker about your posts from them). More details: http://www.snopes.com/computer/facebook/timeline.asp

Even if you do ALL of the Above… it still does NOT keep your stuff fully private.

Bottom Line: Laura’s SOCIAL MEDIA RULE OF THUMB:

Don’t post anything on social media that you wouldn’t be ok with the whole world seeing. Social Media implies… PUBLIC Publishing Platform. If you accept that fact, you’ll enjoy social media and get benefits from it. All that to say… In order to keep your private information private, simply keep it OFF social media. Facebook privacy settings are not fool proof and if you’re on social media for business, you’ll be posting public information anyway.

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