Facebook has started removing a privacy setting that allowed users to prevent their profile from being searchable on the site. In a statement posted online, Facebook’s chief privacy officer Michael Richter says users who have enabled the feature will be informed of the changes on their Facebook profile and in emails.
Facebook says only a small percentage of users have enabled the setting and the changes will not affect the privacy settings on posts. Facebook says the change is part of an expansion of the search feature on Facebook.
All Facebook users used to have a setting called Who can look up your Timeline by name? controlling who could find you when people typed your name into the Facebook search bar ::::
The setting was created when Facebook was a much simpler directory of profiles, for example, it didn’t prevent people from navigating to your Timeline by clicking your name in a story in News Feed, or from a mutual friend’s Timeline.
The social media behemoth claims the old setting also made Facebook’s search feature feel broken at times. For example, people told us that they found it confusing when they tried looking for someone who they knew personally and couldn’t find them in search results, or when two people were in a Facebook Group and then couldn’t find each other through search.
“The search setting was removed last year for people who weren’t using it,” the statement said. “For the small percentage of people still using the setting, they will see reminders about it being removed in the coming weeks.”
Facebook says only a small percentage of users have enabled the setting and the changes will not affect the privacy settings on posts.
Mr Richter says the change is part of an expansion of the search feature on Facebook.
“The setting was created when Facebook was a simple directory of profiles and it was very limited,” Mr Richter said. “For example, it didn’t prevent people from navigating to your Timeline by clicking your name in a story in News Feed, or from a mutual friend’s Timeline. Today, people can also search Facebook using Graph Search … making it even more important to control the privacy of the things you share rather than how people get to your Timeline.”
Facebook says it will be offering detailed instructions to help users use the site’s privacy tools to control how their profile appears in search results.
For now, this is how you can control who can find you:
The best way to control what people can find about you is to choose the audience of the individual things you share.
In the coming weeks, people who are sharing posts publicly on Facebook will also see a notice reminding them that those posts can be seen by anyone, including people they may not know. The notice reminds people how to change the audience for each post.
To quickly control who can find posts you shared in the past, visit the privacy settings page. With one click, you can limit the audience of posts you’ve shared in the past. This means any posts that were previously shared with Friends of Friends or Public will now be shared just to Friends.
To further control what people see across the site:
- Share each post with the people you want to be able to see it. You control this every time you post.
- Use Activity Log to review individual things you’ve already shared. Here you can delete things you may not want to appear on Facebook anymore, untag photos and change the privacy of past posts.
- Ask friends and others to remove anything they may have shared about you that you don’t want on the site. You can do this by reaching out to the person directly, or using the reporting feature, also available in Activity Log.
To get to Activity Log and other privacy tools, click the privacy lock at the top of every Facebook page.
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The social media behemoth has stressed that the practical impact is likely to be “minimal,” because improper data sharing would only have occurred between users who already had some connection.
In a statement Facebook said the bug “may have allowed some of a person’s contact information to be accessed by people who either had some contact information about that person or some connection to them”.
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The company says the malware came from the infected website from a mobile developer.
“Last month, Facebook security discovered that our systems had been targeted in a sophisticated attack,” the company said in a blog post.
“The attack occurred when a handful of employees visited a mobile developer website that was compromised. We remediated all infected machines, informed law enforcement, and began a significant investigation that continues to this day.”
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Kevin Bloch isn’t alone, our favourite news agency – Reuters – has an ubercool post on our latest addiction, Social Media.
Social media is now apparently a recognised addiction, a study undertaken last year by the University of Chicago found that Liking and Tweeting can be even more addictive than cigarettes or alcohol. The research showed that social networking sites gave users a burst of the addictive neurotransmitter dopamine :: Read the full article »»»»
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However, some analysts still have serious worries about how the social network site can make money from members.
Co-founder and Head Honcho Mark Zuckerberg made the announcement yesterday, saying the number is “humbling”.
“This morning, there are more than one billion people using Facebook actively each month,” Zuckerberg said in a statement. ”Helping a billion people connect is amazing, humbling and by far the thing I am most proud of in my life.”
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image source: facebook