Three Things Facebook Doesn’t Want You To Know

November 15, 2014

TechMoxie gets many questions about Facebook privacy – and for good reason.

There has been much in the news this week about Facebook’s roll out of a new interactive tool, Privacy Basics, to help users better understand the ins and outs of what others can see about us.

Facebook has been criticized for how complicated their policies are and the difficulty users have in managing privacy settings. Privacy Basics is a step in the right direction, but is only an overview and falls short by leaving out some key information.

Here are 3 items that Facebook left out of their Privacy Basics that users should know:

1.  “Unfollow” can be your friend.

followingYes, we all have that Friend who overshares or posts content we find offensive. Fortunately, you don’t have to Unfriend them to stop their rantings from showing up on your timeline.

Selecting “unfollow” stops their status updates and like from showing up on your Newsfeed. Great feature, but interestingly not one that Facebook wants to promote.  “Unfollowing” allows you to remain Friends and your Friend won’t even know they were unfollowed. Plus it isn’t a complete blackout. You will see if they mention you in a post orwrite on your timeline. Great for maintaining relations with friends of different political persuasions during election season. You can re-follow at anytime.

How: Click on Friend’s name. look for ✓Following  button.  (See photo above.) Click once to unfollow so that the text changes to “Follow” (See photo, right.) Click again to re-follow.


2. Who knows that you’ve “Liked” Content?

Lets say you’ve hit Like on a news article or other public content. The Privacy Basics tutorial says that your Like can be seen by others.  But what Facebook doesn’t say is that your Like may show up on Friends’ timeline. But it may not. It all depends on Facebook’s secret algorithms.

3. You can delete comments on your Updates.

Why would you need to, you ask?  Lets say a well-meaning Friend posts a cringe-worthy attempt at humor in response to your status update. Deleting their remark may save you both some embarrassment.

How: Hover over the comment until an X appears to the right. Click X to remove.

Our conclusion on Facebook’s latest efforts towards simplicity and transparency:  The more things change the more then remain the same.
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