Why I will not selectively remove you from my ticker and why YOU are responsible for YOUR OWN security on Facebook.

So here’s the thing. The new Facebook. We love it (TIMELINES ARE AWESOME!!) and we hate it (new news feed? Sucks ass).

And then there’s the ticker. Oh, the ticker. People seem to be REALLY REALLY upset about the ticker. But here’s the thing, all that stuff that people are seeing, they are seeing because of the privacy settings YOU and YOUR FRIENDS have set up. If you comment on an update that was posted as “public” (or “friends of friends”), everybody can see it (or everybody you are friends with) in the ticker, on the wall itself, on your wall, it’s… you know… PUBLIC. If you post on a status that was marked as “private” or “friends only” then nobody can see it but you and your friends. It won’t show up in the ticker or anywhere else except on that person’s status update.


Facebook says that the new News Feed and the ticker do not affect your privacy settings. Ticker will only display information that you’re already able to see anywhere else on Facebook. Facebook does say, however, that if you start seeing stories that you haven’t noticed before, it’s likely because “ticker makes things easier to discover. It doesn’t mean that privacy around Facebook has changed.

To control who sees your posts in the News Feed and ticker, be sure you use the privacy control in the Update Status box. Also remember that the comment privacy is tied to the privacy of the post: If you comment on someone’s public post, your comment is thereby also public.(source)

And I love all of my facebook friends, ALL OF YOU. DEARLY. A LOT. But I will not respond to this request:

Do me a favor: please hover over my name here, wait for the box to load and then hover over the “Subscribe” link. Then uncheck the “Comments and Likes” option. I would rather my comments on friends’ posts not be made public. Thanks!

Repost, if you don’t want your EVERY MOVE posted on the right for everyone to see! I’ll do the same for you if you want; just click “like.”

Because all that stuff? It’s stuff I can see just by clicking on your profile! It’s been there ALL ALONG, it’s just more convenient to see it now because it takes one less click and is streamed right there on the right. It’s not showing anything I couldn’t see already!

I highly suggest you take a second to check your privacy settings and have it set “friends” if you don’t want people’s comments on YOUR POSTS to be public or show up in the ticker. The thing that bugs me the most is that I’ve seen people with PUBLIC Facebook profiles ask me to do this. I JUST… WHAT!?

Instead of asking ME to censor you, take the time to do it yourself and if you don’t want your comments to show up publicly, don’t post comments on people’s status updates that are public.

This to me is common sense but at the end of the day, follow this common rule: Don’t post ANYTHING online that you wouldn’t want the entire world (and everybody on facebook) to read.

17 thoughts on “Why I will not selectively remove you from my ticker and why YOU are responsible for YOUR OWN security on Facebook.

  1. AMEN! I actually finally went through and, for all but a few selected individuals, completely unsubscribed from most of my friends. Why? Because now I don’t even have to look at all the posts complaining about Facebook privacy.

    I’ve said it before (on Facebook no less) and I’ll say it again – if you don’t want everything out there – get off a *public* website!

  2. OH. MY. GOD. You’ve said everything I was thinking… and better! I’ve already re-tweeted and shared this on Facebook. You’re kind of amazing, did you know that?

  3. I agree completely. I don’t really care about people seeing what I post. I do unsubscribe from comments and likes in the news feed because I don’t want them there (don’t mind them on the side) but thats personal preference. Anything you post of FB is public if you post in a public space.

  4. I’m glad I’m not the only one thinking “I could always see your likes & comments!!” just by going to someone’s profile, but I didn’t realize I was missing a ticker! Is it possible I just don’t have one yet, or have I turned it off somehow?

    I strictly follow the rule that I do not say anything anywhere on the internet that I wouldn’t want anyone to see, so I don’t post a whole lot but I do think some of the changes are nice and I may end up sharing more because of them.

  5. Not to mention I’m not going to take the time to do that for ALL of my friends. I actually don’t have that many, but what if I did?! I’m not doing that hover business for 70 people, let alone 300!

  6. I love when i accidently close the window before hitting submit on my comment. anyways my thoughts exactly, and this has now been reposted by a couple of my friends

  7. Yes! I haven’t gotten any messages/comments/etc. like this at all. I also haven’t seen any statuses like such from my friends. It’s mostly been them hating “The New Facebook”. Blah.

    LOL Nice post, though! 😛

  8. Too bad that’s not the case. I have my settings ONLY set to Friends, but I see when friends comment on a third party’s Wall, and can then click on the ticker and get to the posting of a stranger and all replies. Their Friends can also see when they post on mine, I asked a Friend to have his roommate (who is not a FB Friend) check, and lo, and behold, he could do the same with mine.
    Maybe you need to do a bit of field research before clambering onto your soapbox.

  9. I linked to an article about it in the post. Did you read it at all? Because when I google it now, every single article I find backs up exactly what I said.

    But here are four more in case you couldn’t get to that one (or google yourself) for some reason. I also included the link to Facebook’s own FAQ which also states everything I said here.





    Facebook can’t help USER error. Maybe you need to do a bit of self diagnostic before disagreeing with the entire internet.

    Also, pay particular attention to the last part of my post. If you don’t want people to be able to see what you are doing on the internet, don’t do things on the internet. Problem solved!

  10. Thank you for this, Anna. It’s what I’ve thought all along.

    We’re all in charge of our own security. We have access to our security options on our own accounts, it’s crazy to ask people to do crap we should do ourselves. On top of that, Facebook is a SOCIAL place. When it comes down to it, if you don’t want people knowing crap DON’T POST IT. It’s the internet, not some super secret meeting room where nothing gets leaked. I don’t expect junk I post to be top secret. Sure there have been times and situations I hoped a select few would not notice or find out certain things, but in the end it’s best to just live an open, secret-free life anyway. Don’t do or say crap you don’t want people to know about ’cause they almost always find out.

    Sorry for the rambling, it seems to tie in to me but I have a migraine heh 😐

  11. This post is amazing, Anna. The thing that annoyed me most about the changes to Facebook is the whining about the changes to Facebook. Of course, that whining is always present after any change to the site. Most of the complainers seem to be too lazy to figure out how to fix their privacy issues.

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