Facebook's ticker privacy scare, and what you should do about it

Filed Under: Facebook, Privacy, Social networks

Privacy
Amongst the recent new changes to appear on Facebook, there is a "ticker" (a rolling real time list of what your friends are doing).

Not everyone has received it yet, because it's on a staggered rollout, but millions have already seen it.

You'll find it on the right hand side of your Facebook page, in the collapsible chat bar.

It's smashing if you want to keep fully up-to-date with your friends' activity, but there is a problem with it.

Facebook Ticker

The ticker makes it very simple for you to eavesdrop when one of your Facebook friends says something to someone you've never heard of - and even see what the stranger originally wrote too.

Ticker eavesdropping

Testing shows that your privacy settings are working the same as they did before, providing you used them in the first place.

The appalling enforced eavesdropping in the ticker (your friend said something to someone you've never heard of) is the result of the lax or non-existent settings of your friends, so here's the deal..  
 
What happens is this:

1. You have "friends of friends" or "public" as the privacy setting for your posts.
2. One of your Facebook friends comments on your post, or clicks "Like".
3. As well as all the people commenting on the thread seeing what has been posted (this much is normal), Facebook also tells all *their* friends what was said.
4. Your friend's settings *cannot* stop this from happening, *your* settings can protect your friends' privacy, in this instance.

Facebook privacy inline control

The ticker has just made it much easier to eavesdrop on what were probably intended to be more private conversations.
 
So, do this - and make your friends do it too:

* Stop using the "Friends of friends" setting. This is what is broadcasting so widely.

* If you use the "Public" setting, explain that you are doing so. Then people can decide if they want *all* of their friends to be informed of their comments.

* "Limit" all previous posts you have made via the privacy settings (unless you had "friends only" or specific lists already) - this will change everything to "friends" only and will stop people you deleted but did not block, people who sent you friend requests that you ignored, and friends of friends from seeing your activity (yes they can, if you are not on "Friends" or lists).

* Use lists to decide who you want to see things (use the privacy controls in the top right of your posts).
 
* Encourage your friends to restrict their setting to "friends" or custom lists too. This is the important bit.

* Inform strangers or the connecting friend when strangers show up in your feed. It is their settings that made them show up. This will illustrate to them why they also need to change their settings.
 
It is not just your settings that control what goes in your Facebook newsfeed and appears on your friends' tickers. Anyone's posts which have privacy set to more than "Friends" will go to all the friends of all the commenters. This is a fact! We've tested it!

Custom privacy on Facebook

Still baffled?  Don't worry.  The problem is complicated to explain, but the solution is simple.  If you want to stop strangers from seeing everything you do, you and your friends need to change your privacy settings to "Friends" or custom lists.  That's it.

The hard part is getting your friends to do it.  
 
If you find your friends aren't understanding the issue, forget about explaining the details and "copy and paste" this to your status:
 

"If you don't want your actions broadcast to everyone via the ticker/News Feed please set your privacy to "Friends" and ask your friends to do the same.  Pass it on."

 
What *not* to tell your Facebook friends
Now, there is also a piece of advice being circulated which reads like this:

"Please do me a favor and move your mouse over my name here, wait for the box to load and then move your mouse over the "Subscribe" link. Then uncheck the "Comments and Likes". I would really rather that my comments on friends and families posts not be made public, thank You! Then re-post this if you don't want your every single move posted on the right side in the "Ticker Box" for everyone to see!"

Scroll over my name..

This appears to be the most commonly suggested solution on Facebook, and it's rubbish! It still doesn't stop *your* posts being broadcast. It's an illusion. This option stops you seeing when other people have broadcast a message to a wide audience. It does *not* stop your actions being broadcast by your friends!
 
You have to do this for every single one of your friends. Time consuming *and* it does not solve the problem - it just stops you from seeing it.

Please don't spread this advice, as it is confusing people and stopping the real problem from being fixed.

How to tell if a post will broadcast to all your friends:
Under each post (on the right) there is an icon which will tell you who it was shared with:

Public
GlobeThe globe icon means that the post is going to be public.

That means, if you comment your friends will be shown the comment immediately and that everyone on Facebook (except those people you have specifically blocked) can see it.

Friends
HeadsThe icon showing two heads means that the post is shared with friends only.

It should be safe to comment, with no threat of exposure to strangers via the ticker/news feed.
 

Custom or Friends of Friends
GearA gear icon can actually mean one of two things - either Custom or Friends of Friends. You will have to hover your mouse over the icon to see which.

Custom means that the post will be safe to comment on with no leakage to strangers via the ticker/news feed.

Friends of Friends, however, can be considered unsafe - as all your friends and all of their friends will be shown the comment immediately via the ticker/news feed.
  
You can check your own posts easily that way if you want to make sure that your settings are right.

And don't forget - next time you leave a comment on someone else's Facebook post, don't say something that you may later regret.

If you're on Facebook, consider joining the Sophos Facebook page, where you can keep up-to-date on the latest rogue applications, scams and malware attacks threatening Facebook users.

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227 Responses to Facebook's ticker privacy scare, and what you should do about it

  1. Laura · 1086 days ago

    This being the case as you say, how come a friend of a friend was able to comment on my photo even though all my posts are set for friends only?

    • AER · 1086 days ago

      Was your friend tagged in that photo? Tagging someone in a photo can enable all friends of the person tagged to see that photo, even if it is set to Friends Only.

    • Cherry · 1086 days ago

      Photos have separate privacy settings. You have to set privacy for each individual album as you create it.

    • michelle · 1086 days ago

      You must have tagged the photo, recently there was a change that allows the friends of the people you tag to comment on the photos...even if you choose to share only with friends...your pics will say shared with Friends and "so-n-sos" friends.

    • Lucrezia · 1086 days ago

      Hi Laura- Unfortunately, tagging is the culprit here. This is from FB's Help section on tagging:

      "When you tag someone, they'll be notified unless you post to an audience of 'Only Me.' Also, if you or a friend tags someone in your post and it's set to Friends or more, the post is visible to the audience you selected plus friends of the tagged person."

      Yes, it's stupid. You could use the 'Only Me' option or write a comment under your own photo identifying who's in it. But of course it would be much better for users if Facebook would recode things to prevent 'Friends of friends' from having access to anything. In fact, if there isn't a page on FB calling for this already, I might start one myself!

      • Sharon · 1085 days ago

        Thanks for the info. A couple of questions.

        If I choose "Only Me," then am I the only one who can see it and not my friends at all? That would defeat the purpose of posting any photos, right?
        Also, where do you select "only me"...on each photo or album or somewhere else?

        So does that mean the only other option is to go through and remove all tags from every single photo in my albums?

        Ugh.

        • Miss B · 1083 days ago

          your friends cán see the fotos and comment just not the friends of friends i guess

      • Steve · 1083 days ago

        This is one change that really annoys me because it was fine was it was before. I don't want friends of friends seeing my photos regardless if my own friends were tagged or not.

    • Calvin · 1086 days ago

      Maybe because the article is about status updates not photos. If someone is tagged in a photo their friends are able to see and comment on it. You can't change that

      • Lucrezia · 1085 days ago

        But, Calvin, *Facebook* CAN change that. It's simply a matter of how they code their database. (Well, not *simple*, actually, but certainly doable if Zuckerberg & Co. made it a priority. It's *their* choice to allow our photos to be shared more widely than we expect/intend. And that should make people angrier than it seems to.)

        I've been getting really annoyed about this issue for the last couple of days, so created a new FB Group which I hope people will consider joining. http://www.facebook.com/#!/groups/269954143027652...

        At the moment, I recommend giving negative feedback on FB Help pages concerned with Tagging. (See the group's page for links/instructions.)

        • Mal · 1085 days ago

          I agree.. I was tagged in Photographs by someone I am not even friends with on Facebook. I had to go through 10 pictures and remove the tag.

          • Conrad · 989 days ago

            There is now an option to vet all tags of you made by others. You might want to check that this is enabled

    • Holly · 1086 days ago

      Same thing happened to me. The old settings had an option to hide photos from friends-of-friends, even the tagged photos. Where did this go?

    • Henry · 1086 days ago

      Because your friends settings are set to friends of friends, or public

    • CL Washbrook · 1086 days ago

      Your friend was tagged in it. This is a different security issue. If your friend is tagged then all their friends can see and comment on it.

    • Lisa · 1086 days ago

      Perhaps your photo security settings are not as secure as you think?

    • Mindi · 1086 days ago

      your photo settings may be different than your post settings - double check.

    • claireR · 1086 days ago

      @Laura - sounds like you need to check the privacy settings for your FB photo albums - the FB default for photos is "public".

    • Laura · 1086 days ago

      Was your friend tagged in the photo?

    • michelle · 1086 days ago

      I think that if you tag a friend in a photo then friends of that friend can see and comment on that photo. I'm no expert though.

    • Don · 1086 days ago

      Photos have their own sharing settings. If you go to the photo you are asking about you'll probably see that it was shared with friends of friends.

    • a_yates · 1086 days ago

      Could be- if you tag someone in your pic or post, then it opens the pic up to their friends as well.

    • Elizabeth · 1086 days ago

      was the friend that commented tagged in the photo? her friends would be able to see it.

    • Nancy · 1086 days ago

      Make sure your photos and each album are not set to friends of friends and set to friends only.

    • Annika Rei · 1086 days ago

      maybe you tagged that friend so their friends were able to see your post. try this: after posting with a friend tagged in your post, check the ticker box. you'll see that the visibility of your post is set to Your Friends+Friends of ---- (the friend you tagged). you can still modify that even after you've posted your status :)

    • AlexG · 1085 days ago

      Because probably you tagged your friend. And unfortunately when you tag someone you send it to all the friends of the tagged person. And you should notice when you send the post that suddenly your audience changes from Friends to Friends(+) including any tagged person in a photo or mentioned on the post. Ridiculous!!!!! Facebook calls it social.

    • The same thing happened to me. It started happening a few weeks ago actually, before all of last week's changes were made.

    • maryann · 1085 days ago

      if your friend was tagged in your photo, now the friend's friends can see your photo.

    • Paul · 1085 days ago

      I believe the answer is that photo albums can have different privacy settings than posts. Every time you make a new photo album, and I mean EVERY TIME, you need to click Edit Album and verify who is set as the audience for that album. You may be unintentionally letting your albums be Public.

      I see this all the time when I look at a profile of someone I don't know. Their profile pictures are hidden. Their tagged photos are hidden. But 20 albums are visible. I can only conclude that they diligently set their privacy settings to hide profile and tagged photos...but didn't realize their albums are wide open for the world. This happens too easily, because individual album privacy settings are located in each album, well outside the central privacy settings we all remember to check.

      While the knee-jerk reaction is to blame Facebook for being underhanded, this is probably intended as a feature for us, because letting each album has individual settings is what lets us reveal various albums to specific different groups of people. Still, Facebook could be clearer about showing us when the current privacy settings of any album is outside Friends. At least they recently started showing us the little icon. Take advantage of it: Mouse over the sharing icon under a photo, and if it says Friends of Friends or Public, you need to take care of that.

    • Maire · 1085 days ago

      I have also had friends of friends comment on or like my photos, even though I have them set as "friends only.". I don't understand how that has happened.

    • anon · 1085 days ago

      Because photos are totally different than posts. You need to go to each photo album individually and edit the privacy setting to friends only.

      • Lucrezia · 1085 days ago

        Unfortunately, this (along with many of the comments in this thread) is incorrect. Even if you set 'Friends only' as the access for a photo album, that setting is overridden for indivudal photos once you (or your friends) add tags. This wasn't always the case, although I'm not sure when it changed.

        • Yavanna · 1085 days ago

          Personally I think if you TAG someone in a photo Then their friends *should* be able to see it. It is of them after all.

    • Nebankh · 1085 days ago

      Laura, I tagged no one in a certain photo that I posted, shared with Friends only - however, a friend of mine commented on the photo, who has their settings set to Friends of Friends, and their settings OVERRIDE mine!! My setting for that photo changed to Friends of Friends, something I NEVER use, and ONLY after that person commented. I reckon it's so FB could share their activity based on THEIR setting, not mine. It's one to be aware of and this should be made clearer - so far I've seen no one else mention it!!

    • cole · 1083 days ago

      if the photo was tagged then friends of anyone tagged can comment/like any photos their friend is tagged in unless you use the custom setting or remove tags

    • lottie · 1071 days ago

      same thing here.. the new setting of facebook is really not helping anymore and is getting worse..

    • Jolly Annoyed! · 1001 days ago

      My settings are for 'friends' - for everything, yet I too have had complete strangers commenting on my pictures (that have my friends tagged).

      In the past there was an option where you could choose who could comment on pictures, that option seems to have disappeared and I WANT IT BACK!!!! It will be a shame if we all have to resort to untagging to maintain our privacy.

      I have chosen who I want to see and comment on my stuff and it should remain that way!

      • loominator · 964 days ago

        A bit too late but I have this issue,

        My friend commented on the photo, she wasn't even tagged in the pic. How did her friend view and like my photo then? Photo album's privacy was set to "friends only".

        I assumed this applied to a situation where someone was tagged, apparently your pictures can be viewed by friends of friends who aren't even tagged! Ridiculousness.

    • Czarina · 918 days ago

      Change your photo album privacy settings to Custom
      then in the "make this visible to:" choose Friends
      then uncheck the box where it says "Friends of those tagged:"

      hope this helps!

    • Cheryl · 589 days ago

      Because your friend probably has posts set for friends of friends or public to view.

  2. Kylie Abel · 1086 days ago

    That post circulating on facebook DOES help - it encourages people to do it to your status and therefore their account won't have your comments. Sadly every SINGLE person has to do it to stop all your comments being broadcast to everyone, but it's better than nothing.

    • stillsmallvoiceofcalm · 990 days ago

      Please reread - it doersnt stop your comments being broadcast - it just stops you seeing how far its going...

  3. Sue · 1086 days ago

    Simple solution: Just don't share anything on Facebook that you wouldn't share in a auditorium filled with listening people!

    • hukturn · 1085 days ago

      Nah...I have friends who are mutual friends with some people I wish not to interact with. Therefore, I do not wish for some of my information to be shared with those people. In limiting access to certain parts of my profile, I have limited the probability of that information getting to the people I don't wish to have it. Is it real "privacy"...no. But, it is a reasonable precaution while still being able to share some things with people I do wish to interact with, while limiting others.

    • absolulu · 991 days ago

      Only intelligent thing that has been said on this issue. An earlier generation learned not to put anything in a letter that they wouldn't want read aloud in open court.

  4. Jeff · 1086 days ago

    there should be an option to CLOSE the ticker window

    • Idagrammy · 1085 days ago

      I agree whole heartily. I find it rather annoying.

      • charlotte · 1083 days ago

        Grammy, you can go to your FRIEND list and create a NEW LIST (such as the name NEWS FEED) and then click each name to add to the new list. This might take a few minutes, but the whole list can be added quickly. Then, whenever you go to the HOME page, you can select the NEWS FEED list of friends (over there on the left of the page) to see what they have posted. You have to use this one added step whenever you go the home page, but it is just ONE added click . . . and the annoying ticker feed will disappear . . . but make NO mistake, your actions and the actions of your friends will still be scrolling over there on everyone else's home page, it is just hidden from YOUR eyes.

        You need to take the other steps outlined elsewhere here to help stop that.

  5. Carol Tessier · 1086 days ago

    Thank you!!! for making that easier to understand and act on!! much appreciated!!

  6. smeggs30 · 1086 days ago

    Thank you! I was trying to explain this to my friends the other day, with no luck.

  7. R0nin · 1086 days ago

    Further proof that Facebook either A.) Is incompetent when it comes to privacy/security, or B.) Really doesn't care. You choose.

    • Bob the Builder · 1085 days ago

      I think actually it's
      C) Is trying to undermine privacy and create a rich dataset based on users' behaviour and interactions

      • krenee · 1082 days ago

        Yes, Mark believes and strives for a "wide open world". They want to eradicate the concept of privacy. That's for real my friends.

    • Tim · 981 days ago

      I think it is more that FB tries to give people choices but many people lack the time or ability to make informed privacy choices.

      • Alice · 981 days ago

        Really? How is leaving who sees your activity up to your friends' privacy levels giving you choices? You are at the whim of your friends' and family privacy levels, not your own. Other words you have no control over that and are at the whim of people who are not going to have the same agenda as you (they may not care who sees their stuff or may not understand how to set privacy levels in the first place).

        • Richard Johnson · 733 days ago

          Don't use their service! It's that simple. No one is forcing you to use facebook. Not all of your information is stored in their database regardless if it is privet of not. They have your info already.

  8. PenniLivingston · 1086 days ago

    Now to figure out why the like button has suddenly become a share button!!

  9. fred · 1086 days ago

    Thanks for your advice.Seems the problem will be around for a while.

  10. Gerard · 1086 days ago

    I have an issue with this ... I am now seeing FRIENDS ONLY stuff which I never saw before even when my friends liked or commented on. So I assuming that my FRIENDS ONLY post will now be seen by friends of my friends. Before if someone clicked on my status after one of their friends commented they got my blank private wall saying I only share with friends.
    Basically the setting of FRIENDS ONLY does not work any more.
    My privacy is now gone because of the ticker! FB needs to fix!

    • CharleyG · 1086 days ago

      HOW CAN WE TURN THE DAMN TICKER OFF? I assume the is not yet an option. IT SHOULD BE. Some of us dont care what others are doing as it is annoying.

    • Laurie Daven · 1085 days ago

      You are correct, Gerard, and unfortunately, unless I'm really not understanding this article, it seems Sophos is not getting to the root of the problem with Ticker privacy. The article suggests that if you and your Friends use "Friends Only," then your posts will not be seen by "strangers." I don't know about you, but my 600+ Friends all have Friends of their own who are indeed strangers to me. If one of my Friends comments on a post of mine, and they are using "Friends Only" and so am I, then it seems that their Friends--not just mine--are going to see the comment AND my original Post. So my "Friends Only" setting becomes "Friends of Friends" whenever any Friend comments on my post.

      • Lee I · 1085 days ago

        Send your completely private comments to friends by regular email, not in facebook. The facebook people consider this a "social" network, so generally don't post anything you'd be embarrassed by, no matter who it goes to. Same thing for private info. I've seen perfect strangers share their phone numbers.

      • Judy · 1085 days ago

        you can hide comments hovering your mouse right to where it is posted in your profile, then click on the x and select "hide all recent…". Comments you made on someone else's status was always visible for all your friends, the ticker just reveals that fact…

      • Bob · 1084 days ago

        I tried exactly this with a friend and a friend of theirs who was not a friend of mine. I could NOT see any posts my friend made to her friend (not my friend) and similarly my friend's friend (not my friend) could not see our mutual friend's posts made to my status. All three of us have our security set to "Friends Only". There was no leakage past where we all 3 wanted things to be.

    • cole · 1083 days ago

      your privacy was always there and its only now more publicly obvious. you used to be able to see anything you wrote if any friend of yours clicked on wallposts/photo comments you made on other peoples stuff off your own page. Its only made fb stalking easier for everyone. No ones settings have changed at all.

  11. Becky · 1086 days ago

    Check your photo settings. Also, your "friend" may have shared it.

  12. Chelle · 1086 days ago

    All my settings are set to "Friends," so my aunt was able to see what I said on a friend's status (to her, this was a friend-of-a-friend). She questioned me about it too.

    • If you're settings are set to "Friends," your friends can see what you do.

      It doesn't matter if your friend is a friend of a friend to your aunt. *You* are a friend to your aunt, and you set things such that what you do is displayed to your friend (your aunt).

      This sounds pretty normal to me.

    • fredt · 1084 days ago

      This friend's status is on this friend's wall (and in your news feed, but that doesn't matter), so this friend controls who can see both the status and your comment on it. You have no control over the visibility of your comments. Your friend is 'at fault' for sharing his/her status with a broader audience than his/her friends only.

    • Our Busy Life · 1083 days ago

      Your friend's status was probably set to public. You don't have any control over who sees comments on your friends' statuses, photos, etc. That's up to them.

  13. Kylie Abel · 1086 days ago

    That post circulating on facebook DOES help - it encourages people to do it to your status and therefore their account won't have your comments. Sadly every SINGLE person has to do it to stop all your comments being broadcast to everyone, but it's better than nothing.

    The way I've described the new "ticker" thing is:

    I guess it's kind of like walking outside to my letter box in my daggiest PJs. It's completely public and anyone who's nearby can see exactly what I'm doing and I don't mind that. I wouldn't be going outside in my PJs if I minded people seeing me do it in passing. Hey, if I have a stalker who waited outside and saw me in my daggy PJs, even that's fine (although a little freaky) - it's something I have chosen to do in the public and it's their right to see me if they are there. But if someone was outside my house taking photos and sending them via instant messages to every single one of my friends that's completely different. "Public" is be a very different thing to "broadcast to all your friends just because what you're doing is classed as public".

  14. shemika curry · 1086 days ago

    how can i keep my facebook page from being deleted

    • ThisChick · 1085 days ago

      Why would your facebook page be deleted unless you requested it? They won't just delete your page on a whim. If you're falling into one of the idiot scams/reposts on FB abut how they will delete your account unless you pay for it, then I suggest you actually research something before asking a question. Go check out snopes.

    • Lee · 1085 days ago

      By not submitting this form... https://www.facebook.com/help/contact.php?show_fo...

      • hukturn · 1085 days ago

        Bologna. FB wants you to visit. Reducing the numbers of users reduces the number of views for advertisers. This, in turn, reduces the cost effectiveness of advertising on FB which digs into the pockets of Mark Zuckerberg. Think about it.

        • branden · 1083 days ago

          what about those of us who take the internet back by blocking ads ;)

  15. JimW · 1086 days ago

    We need more information on this subscribe 'feature'. I believe I have a good grasp of the english language, but FB's description has me scratching my head.

  16. shannon · 1086 days ago

    My comment is this...if I wanna to see whats happening every second on the "ticker" then I would have a twitter account, I hate the new fb changes and I really wish they would stop trying to be like everyone else, Leave well enough alone

  17. Or you could do nothing. Because holy cow batman who is going to go through all those steps you outlined above? I mean seriously. It is the internet. There is no such thing as privacy.

    I personally do not care if friends of friends see my activity on Facebook. Why? Because I chose to not post private things on Facebook. Why? I will repeat what I said above: there is no such thing is privacy on the Internet.

  18. mushhead · 1086 days ago

    Thank you once again Sophos! Mine was already set to custom anyway but it's always nice to be able to direct people to somewhere that explains it all without having people try to argue with me and try to tell me I'm wrong.

    @Laura
    You say your posts are set for friends only but are your photos also set for this? This could be your problem.

  19. Debbie · 1086 days ago

    Bottom line. If people want privacy betw them & all of their friends, they should never opt for "friends of friends" or "public". That's been the case all along. What people don't understand is, even with the old Facebook, if you had your settings on anything but "friends", your posts were being seen by people you don't know. Don't see why people can't understand that. Makes perfect sense to me, thanks!

    • Laurie Daven · 1085 days ago

      Debbie, what's new now is that even if you and a given Friend of yours DO have your settings on Friends Only, if that Friend comments on your post, THEIR friends will see their comment--AND your post--via the Ticker. Which means that even the "Friends Only" setting really means "Friends of Friends," at best.

    • stacey · 1077 days ago

      my settings are properly set, yet still having people jump in to conversations, No matter what others settings are set to you should not have strangers posting on your wall. That's the bottom line! You could not comment on any non-friends wall before, No-one should be able to now!

  20. Amaris in Wonderland · 1086 days ago

    Thanks! I figured it was the 'friends of friends' settings of my friends... I guess i'll just mouse over the privacy icon at the bottom of each friend's post before i comment - and won't be commenting on some things if it is "public" or "friends of friends".

    But what about all of the other people that comment below or above? Does my comment’s visibility also hinge on their particular settings, too?? It’s still too broad & privacy preferences are not truly up to the individual user.

    Boo, fb. Bad call.

    • hukturn · 1085 days ago

      Oh snap...did not even think about that. Does "public" commenting allow "blocked" people to read my comments on a friends "public" post"?

      • MT Mama · 1085 days ago

        If you have someone "blocked" you don't exist to them on facebook. They an search for you by username or email and you will not come up as an option....I have tried with someone I know blocked me so I would be sure when I blocked people. So theoretically they shouldn't be able to see anything of yours on a mutual friends' post. But theoretically my "friends only" setting shouldn't allow ANYONE not on my friends list to see anything I do...but the new privacy settings are crap and don't allow that. I quit posting until it gets figured out, but that doesn't mean people quit commenting on my page and photos. I don't want to hide everything from everyone but its dang annoying.

    • Our Busy Life · 1083 days ago

      I'm not sure that entirely fixes it. If I comment on a friend's status and it's set to share with all his friends, all his friends are going to see it, even if they aren't my friends. So strangers are still going to see it. Just not as many as if it were friends of friends or public. It's like having a conversation in a public place, some strangers are going to overhear. At least in this case, it's a friend of one party. I do wish there was an option to not see what your friends have put on their friends pages. I hate having to depend on everyone else to set their settings. I'd like to be able to see "mutual friends only". Really, I don't even to see that. I don't need to see one friend tell another "I had a great time last night" if I'm not involved in the conversation.

  21. Debbie · 1086 days ago

    Gerard - Anytime you make a comment on one of your friends' posts, THAT person's other friends have always been able to see your comment, but YOUR other friends will not see the comment, as long as you & that friend, both have the setting "friends only" ... Didn't any of you ever notice on your profile page, where it would show whenever you made a comment on someone else's page?? Same thing. Nothing has really changed, except we see the ticker now. "Friends" only is the way to go, & really always should have been, in my humble opinion.

    • Tammy · 1085 days ago

      Actually, I had removed all comments & likes from my profile so everyone didn't know my every move....now they have taken it and posted it on the Ticker. There should be an option to turn off your OWN info from being displayed on the ticker!!

    • MT Mama · 1085 days ago

      I knew they were able to see on my friends' page that "John Doe commented on Jane Doe's status/photo/link." but I don't think they could actually *see* the status/photo/link, could they? I couldn't on my friends' pages if I wasn't friends with the person, it was just a notation in their recent activity. So I assumed it was the same with my "friends only" setting. Is that not how it was? Agh, why does it have to be difficult. (1) "Friends only" should be people on your list can see your stuff, no matter what. and (2) you should be able to say yes/no if your friends can share your stuff and (3) if friends can share, it should only be visible to mutual friends per rule #1. Why is this soooo difficult every time they change it?? It seems so easy to me.

  22. Debbie · 1086 days ago

    Laura - you might want to check & see what setting you have for "photos" .. you can do that by clicking on one of your albums, & looking at the pictures, OR click "edit" on the album. You should be able to see the setting you have.

  23. KathyK · 1086 days ago

    Your notion does not solve the problem. I want my comments or likes to ONLY be seen by FRIENDS. If my friends set their comments to friends only - this means my comments can now be seen by friends of friends - because according to facebook explanation - the privacy of a comment is dependent on the original post. If its set to the author's friends - your "friends of friends" can see your comment if you comment on their post.....regardless of my own privacy.

    Facebook should fix this. I have nothing to hide but I do love my privacy. I've bared posted since the changes because of this hole in security.

    • Yuliy · 1085 days ago

      Making comment privacy be determined by the original post privacy prevents really weird situations, though. For instance, let's say that we had a mutual friend, Bob, who posted a status update. I see this status update, and make a comment (but my settings for posts are for friends only). Bob responds. Now you go to view that status update, and see Bob's response to my post, but not my post, which makes you very confused. Hence, Facebook makes the comment thread's privacy be consistent with the original post.

      Basically, before ticker, you could already see any friend-of-friend's posts that were set to FoF or public privacy, and occasionally when your friends commented on those, Facebook would show them on your news feed if the story ranked high enough. Now, Facebook also has an unfiltered view of all your friends' activities, so you're seeing these "comment-on-stranger" stories

      • katie · 1085 days ago

        You do occasionally get this oddity, though, when people have blocked you from viewing anything they post. So Joe Bloggs "is out on the town" and Fred Smith, who has blocked you, comments "see if you can drink as much as you did last week" to which Joe replies "That traffic warden loved you!"

        But because Fred has blocked you, you only see Joe's reply to Fred's comment, which makes no sense without Fred's first comment.

    • Derek · 1085 days ago

      This would bet an incomplete thread and be incoherent.
      You can't expect to join in a thread and dictate it's visibility. You can dictate this only if you start the thread.

      • MT Mama · 1085 days ago

        I don't see why it matters if it leaves gaps in the commenting....that's certainly not problem. And like Katie said, this happens when people are blocked...its easy to read past it.

    • stacey · 1077 days ago

      I agree with you there! they keep talking about the settings, mine are all set correctly, yet people are still jumping into my conversations on non- mutual friends walls. This is a complete violation. we did not see the comments and conversations of others before, and certainly were not able to comment on a non-friends wall. This Ticker has to go. It not our responsibility to police our friend lists and insist everyone check their settings, and some simply won't. It is up to the network to inform people, and protect their privacy.

  24. Lucrezia · 1086 days ago

    I've been getting really annoyed about this issue for the last 2 days, so created a new FB Group which I hope people will consider joining. http://www.facebook.com/#!/groups/269954143027652...

    At the moment, I have two specific recommendations - giving negative feedback on Help pages concerned with Tagging. (See the group's page for links/instructions.)

  25. Don in Oregon · 1086 days ago

    So you have covered the main privacy settings and that is good. However, there is a granular control you can make on your own profile to block comments you make on other pages from appearing in the news feed. You can also similarly block Wall posts you make on other friend pages. You can check whether they are set by going to your own profile page, scrolling to the bottom, and clicking on Edit Options.

    Facebook should, theoretically, also block those from the new "ticker." However, I've seen no indication whether this is the case. Hopefully you can use your "bully pulpit" to explain and advise whether this is occurring. I personally find it to be an important feature for me.

    • Don in Oregon · 1085 days ago

      I was able to confirm that comments I make elsewhere that I have blocked from my wall are NOT blocked from the ticker. Of course, Facebook provides no facility to do this, so it is still a problem in my mind.

    • Liz · 1085 days ago

      Please, please tell me how to block comments I make on other pages from the news feed? My options are set to "no hidden stories". I've now gone through every single privacy setting to make sure friends only see, but there are some things I'd prefer not to share with all of my friends - after all, pub friends may not be in the same circle as my boss and work friends, and though I know that theoretically everything can be found, I'd prefer not to have it bouncing around everyone's news feed.

      • Don in Oregon · 1085 days ago

        Not sure if this still works, but when I originally blocked mine, I did the following:

        Go to your own profile page. Find where it says, "You commented on Person X's page" (not sure of the wording). When you hover your mouse over it, an icon with two people should appear to the right and above. Clicking that will drop-down a bunch of options, one of which should be something similar to "Remove all my comments from my profile/wall".

        I am going from memory, so the wording may be way off or the option may no longer be available. With that said, it won't things from showing up on the ticker anyway, so I am not sure what good it will do.

        • renee · 1085 days ago

          I too would LOVE to remove my comments from my wall, but I don't see how to do it. When I hover over the comment (You said X on Y's post) I just get an x to delete it, but I'd have to delete each one individually. No option to remove them all. If you find one, let me know!

          • Don in Oregon · 1085 days ago

            I guess they either moved or removed it at some point then.

            • Emily · 1085 days ago

              Nope, it's still there. Find the "activity" that you want to hide. On the right, Hit the "x" and it will ask you if you want to hide that activity. You don't have to do it for each individual like, comment, etc it will do it for all of them of that category. So, you have to find the a "like" hit the x, then find where you posted on someone's wall and hit the x. Same goes for events, comments, friending activity etc. Then, go down to "edit options" at the bottom to see what you have hidden. If you ever want it back on your wall, that's where you would retrieve it.

              I actually believe THIS is the fix, but EVERYONE has to remove these things from their wall. FB claims that stuff not visible to anyone that visited your wall, would still be hidden. If people have these comments up on their wall, whereas before it only showed the blurb (a friend of a friend couldn't see the entire convo) now it shows the entire thing in the ticker. It still leaves the whole "privacy up to my friends" thing wide open.

              • Don in Oregon · 1084 days ago

                Thanks Emily! I didn't want to clear my wall blocks because I was worried I would lose them and not get them back, so I am glad you checked. However, what you block from the walls of others in this way is NOT blocked on other peoples' tickers as I have found out.

          • Amanda · 1085 days ago

            Actually, if you click on the X it brings up a menu which lets you chose between hiding that one action or all similar actions from your wall. If you change your mind later, you can turn them back on in the "Edit Settings" at the bottom of your Profile Page.

        • Liz · 1085 days ago

          Thank you, Don. That's helpful IF Facebook do the right thing under all this barrage and remove that awful ticker box. As you say, it's certainly still a problem if it shows there anyway, regardless of what you do.

  26. Rhonda · 1086 days ago

    I think that it is absolutely absurd that MY privacy is reliant upon the way that my friends have THEIR privacy set!

  27. Lulu · 1086 days ago

    Thanks for figuring this out, but one thing is confusing me. Even if you get all of your friends to switch to "friends only", since FB now lets you change the privacy setting on old posts, a friend could change a previously "friends only" post that you commented on to a "friends of friends" post, right? I don't think this will be a problem for most folks over 30, but i could see some high school kids tormenting each other with this sort of thing. So, even a "friends only" setting on a friend's post does not mean your comments and likes cannot eventually be made public or open to "friends of friends". And basically, no one has any actually control over anything anymore, not when your privacy is at the mercy of your friends' privacy settings, right?

    • Richard · 1085 days ago

      Nothing to stop them taking a screen shot or cut and paste anyway. I've seen that done a few times - sometimes with the offender's name blurred out in a "Look at this silly comment" style, sometimes with all intact.

      Even the best software copy protection would not stop someone pointing a camera at the screen! (though I note there have been weak attempts to achieve even that)

  28. peed off · 1086 days ago

    MY GOD! I think its time to go back to a friggin stamp and envelope...screw this" invade my space book"

  29. Cliff_Hinton · 1086 days ago

    No wonder why some people have found me and asked for friend requests?

    Wonder how secure Google+ would be ....

    • brian · 1085 days ago

      G+ privacy settings are no different. The poster controls the privacy of the update and comments are visible to anyone that can see the original post.

  30. Cheryle · 1085 days ago

    What is the purpose of the tickler?? Is is very invasive and no one wants to see all those post scrolling down their page. I do not like it at all.

    I suggest you remove the tickler, that is too much information. Overload!!

  31. JLS · 1085 days ago

    There is still one privacy option missing that was present before. That is the option of limiting your own comments on friend's statuses or photos to being viewable to friends only. It was never dependent on your friends privacy settings.

  32. Lynn · 1085 days ago

    Curious what the solution is for the ticker problem with respect to games and apps? The ticker now shows every time a friend goes into one of their games, and more importantly, it shows them that I am online and am playing a game. The only time I want to know when they are playing or let my friends know that I am playing, is when we post to the wall. Will this 'friends' only selection solve this too?

  33. spanghew · 1085 days ago

    There's a structural problem here (although it's possible I'm misunderstanding Facebook's behavior): If I set my comments on friends' posts to "friends only," doesn't that mean that any of my friends' friends reading MY friend's post can no longer see my comment? And if that is the case, and a lot of people restrict their comments to friends only, won't that mean that conversations (series of comments on a post) will become incomprehensible...because everyone will be able to see only THEIR friends' contributions? More likely: the conversations won't happen at all...because only mutual friends will be able to participate.

    I am going to assume that most people, when they post something on their wall, do not want to restrict subsequent discussion only to mutual friends of whoever the first commenter might be...yet it seems that a "friends only" post would necessarily have that effect, if all commenters also set their comments to "friends only."

    Short version: There's a good reason "friends of friends" is the default, as it facilitates conversation, just as when you're at a party with both people you know and people you don't know, you're likely to end up in a conversation with someone you don't know. The other problem: given that people often meet new friends by way of mutual friends, if "friends only" restricts the visibility of comments (which is to say: the way by which we get to know whether we want to friend somebody), then the whole model of interactivity breaks down.

    As I said: Perhaps I am misunderstanding - but it would seem a necessary byproduct of TRULY restricting posts to "friends only."

  34. Liv · 1085 days ago

    I think this is more worrying myself, ie, even if you are logged out, Facebook still knows and can track every page you visit. See Nik Cubrilovic's blog here: http://nikcub-cache.appspot.com//logging-out-of-f...

  35. Bunny · 1085 days ago

    Sophos wrote:

    >...forget about explaining the details and "copy and paste" this to your status:
    >"If you don't want your actions broadcast to everyone via the ticker/News Feed please set >your privacy to 'Friends" and ask your friends to do the same. Pass it on."

    This suggestion is not only insulting in its suggestion that the it's okay to misinform people if it gets them to do what you think is best, it's also completely irresponsible, especially from a company that makes security products. It authoritatively implies that if you don't set your privacy to 'Friends,' your actions will be broadcast to "everyone," which is simply not true. If you have your privacy set to "Friends of friends," that's who will see it. "Everyone" will see it only if you have your privacy set to "Public."

    I'm constantly urging my friends to be more aware of the implications of 'loose' privacy settings, but the last thing I want to see on Facebook is more alarmist distortions like this spread virally. Please do the responsible thing, Sophos: Edit the statement so that it's accurate—even if it means some people won't be scared into compliance.

  36. David · 1085 days ago

    There is some misinformation in your blog. Public is visibile to the entire internet since there are site that mine facebook for public posts.

  37. SGalbreath · 1085 days ago

    Here's what's bugging me...as I play a game on FB, all my friends knows it in real-time because of the ticker. I can tolerate the comments of friends of friends, but I do not like everyone knowing what I'm doing and when on the ticker. It's really ticking me off!

  38. Liesl · 1085 days ago

    Not sure this is true. To test the Stalker Bar, the other night a friend of mine commented on someone else's photo. So I clicked on the person's name and visited her profile. She had the WHOLE THING on lockdown. I tried to get to her photos thru her page, and it blocked me from doing so. But yet there it was, her photo as commented on by my friend, out there for all the world to see on my Stalker Bar. Her photos were set to private. But I saw it. I don't remember what it was, it was benign, but still. I saw it even though she didn't want me to.

  39. John D · 1085 days ago

    A lot of this is fear-mongering. There have been no changes to privacy, just an extra view to things that anyone could see before. If people have their settings set broadly, or comment on others' posts, assuming privacy (a silly thing to do) then it is their own fault. FB has screwed up in the past, but this time people have no one to blame but themselves.

  40. John Q Frustrated · 1085 days ago

    Don in Oregon hits the nail on the head for me. I have a number of Facebook "events" (comments, likes, friend adding activites) set to NOT display on my wall.

    What about THAT choice makes Facebook thinks its still ok to run in the general newsfeed and the new mini-ticker??

    I don't mind others with access to the comment, like, friend activity SEEING it on the wall..but I don't wish it "tickered"

    Ultimately - I think I'd like the option to NOT participate in either ticker beyond my own status updates or picture additions.

  41. spanghew · 1085 days ago

    I think my earlier post is probably erroneous - here's why: I think the way to think of it is that when you post on *someone else's page* that post is subject to *their* privacy rules, not your own. It's *their page* after all...if you wanted only that person to see it, you would have messaged the person, not commented on their page. A "social network" is just that: why would you comment on another person's non-private post if you didn't expect others to see it?

    I think the brouhaha is one of access: you always *could* see those things, but only if you bothered to traipse over to someone's page. Which, why bother, because anything relevant to you (your comments on their post, etc.) show up in your own feed. So now, all that stuff is highlighted in the ticker...and people are up in arms about it.

    FB definitely should allow people to have more control over what goes to the ticker - and should allow people to turn it off on their own page. But I think some people are misconstruing the whole nature of "privacy" on a social network: the "wall" metaphor is useful, in that something posted on a wall (presumably, originally a wall outside someone's dorm room or the like, given FB's collegiate origins) is visible to people w/some connection to that person...not just you and that person, but others who live in the dorm, etc. You're not e-mailing that person or sending them a private message; you're posting it in a semi-public space.

    • Mark · 1085 days ago

      Exactly! If you want to comment privately - that's what the private message is for. Wall posts should be assumed to be viewable by at least friends of the wall owner and, at most, everyone.

    • MT Mama · 1085 days ago

      That's a good way of thinking of it, thanks....but at the same time I'm not sure completely accurate. it also appears that if its on my page and my friend interacts, it becomes subject to their privacy settings.....and that's a whole different level. I can sort of get that if its on their page its their privacy setting (though not what I'd like)....but if its my status on my pag and they comment it should stay under my privacy settings, not revert to theirs and make it visible to their friends.

    • Nessie · 1085 days ago

      ... and then you want to make a post on your friend's wall to wish her happy birthday that only your friend and 3 others (her family) will see, so you'll have to send them all PMs. And then it's your friend and 13 others who went to the same trip -- hey, let's send them all the same message! And then it's just no point in using Facebook to communicate anymore, is it? Let's go the way of the dinosaurs and use e-mail instead!

      People who run Facebook are unable to accept the simple fact: you want to share with those YOU choose to share with, not the general public (you have blogs for that). You want to use the simple format of FB wall + comments to share with a selected group of friends, and not send everybody private messages (you have e-mail for that).

      Forcing public sharing down people's throats and calling it 'being social' is not a good idea.

      The whole issue here is not privacy in its new sense of "sensitive information", hackers, exposure. That's why a site dedicated to 'Internet privacy' will tell you there is no violation here. What's suffering here is the old-fashioned privacy in its sociological sense: being able to choose your crowd, choose your friends, choose who to listen to, choose your comfort zone.

  42. medsideeffects · 1085 days ago

    What if I want to remove the ticker from my page? any solution?

    • claireR · 1085 days ago

      yes, if you are using Chrome as a browser, there is an add-on. Also a script if you are using Firefox. Not sure what to do if you are using Explorer. Google "disable the fb ticker" for links. Oh...and don't bother with the "facebook" ones that come up - they just tell you how to minimize the ticker, not disable it. Please note, though, that disabling the ticker only means that you can't see it anymore - it doesn't prevent any of your information getting thrown up there.

  43. I'm beginning to think that the REAL problem is FB's "Friends of Friends" settings. The ability to use Public, Custom, Lists and Friends only would seem to me to be more than enough.

  44. Richard · 1085 days ago

    I used the "Restrict old posts" and have existing posts from a long time back that were set to "Custom" with only 1 or two people on them. I hope that Facebook hasn't made those posts more public than they were before. (Photos of people or their kids taken at events, but you keep them restricted to just the people involved out of normal photography rules. In many cases they then go on to tag them or make them their profile picture so they are the people making them more public.)

  45. Ani · 1085 days ago

    I tried that on my profile, but it keeps defaulting to Friends Of Friends, no matter how many timesI save it. Needless to say, I've now joined Google+

  46. Lily · 1085 days ago

    Friends of friends is not a setting any more that I can see? Is this a new development?

  47. Amy Arnold · 1085 days ago

    Thank you for putting this together. It's absurd FB doesn't put the users privacy first when making changes. Social networking should be driven by the user not the developer.

  48. hukturn · 1085 days ago

    I honestly could not care less about "strangers". I know I can keep them from seeing my information. But, the new format DOES NOT allow me to manage my privacy as I once did. I have friends from different circles with whom I do not wish to share parts of my life. Further, I have friends who are mutual friends with people I wish none of my information to reach. So, I have always assigned these people to friends lists and then given access to specific parts of my FB profile to limit movement through my profile. But, now, you cannot do this.

    The ticker is not a concern to me with regard to privacy. I just don't like it because I don't use it. I like scanning through the status updates. So, why not allow me to do that without forcing the ticker onto people? Just add a "hide ticker" function.

    Why not have a "new format" or "old format" option on FB? I mean, I have lost 4 "FB friends" (deleted accounts) in the past week due to the changes. 2 said it was related to privacy settings management changes and the other 2 just said that they did not like the new version. Truth be told, the FB format and functionality was probably at it's overall "best" in the Fall of 2009. JMHO.

    hukturn on FB.

  49. Stefan · 1085 days ago

    I don't really understand the issue here. If I want to say something private, I use the "Messages" feature to send it to exactly the people who should hear it. If I post something on a wall, then it is OK for everyone to read it. Where is the problem??

  50. Nessie · 1085 days ago

    Yes, Facebook privacy has always been abhorrent, and nothing has changed. That's true. The only thing that is different is that if your friends' friends choose not to draw their curtains shut at all times, you are forced to peep through their windows into their lives. As you said, there is no way for ME to change what I want to see in my feed and what I don't want to see (now THAT tells you something about the kind of site Facebook is!). Instead, I am forced to ask complete strangers to change THEIR settings to ensure my comfort.

    Worse yet, there is (still) absolutely no way to set privacy for comments. If you comment on someone's post that's public, your comment is forcefully made public. Nothing can be done about it. If you post to a friend's wall, your wall post will assume "default privacy" (which seems to be "Friends of Friends" for most accounts). You can do NOTHING to prevent that.

  51. melinda · 1085 days ago

    i tried to select the friends only under custom and it won't select it! ??? or save it as I want it?

  52. Curious · 1085 days ago

    A few days ago, I posted a picture to a small family list, yet several of the people shared the picture. I have my picture albums all set to friends-only. How was it they were able to share the pictures with their friends? was it because they were tagged?

  53. Steve · 1085 days ago

    To be fair - Being able to see the persons original comment where a friend has commented has ALWAYS been possible. It is merely now more noticable in the ticker bar where before it was in the News Feed.

  54. MT Mama · 1085 days ago

    Thanks, that was helpful. Just to clarify....if I have a "Friends only" setting.... that means no matter what only my friends can see it unless someone else is tagged?

    So for example:
    If I comment on someone's status and they are friends with a bunch of people I'm not....can those people see my comment? Someone I'm not friend with responded to my comment and I didn't they should be able to see my comment?

    Is there any way to tag people in a post or photo and not allow THEIR frieds to see it? Since my settings are "friends only" I don't get why their friends get to see it too just because they are tagged? Am I doomed to never tag anyone again?

    Anyone that can answers these...IOU huge, I haven't found good answers to these questions yet!!

    • renee · 1085 days ago

      If you comment on your friend's status, it's on their wall and all of their friends can see it. That's always been true. All of that person's friends can join the thread whether you are friends with them or not. Yes, that does mean you can get into an argument with your ex-roommate whom you can't stand if you have a friend in common. Happens at dinner parties all the time.

      If you tag someone in a photo or post, it goes on their page as well, and all their friends will see it. If you don't want that, don't tag.

      The problem for me is the ticker, because although you could always stalk someone and look at all their comments, it would take some effort. Now everything you do is right in everyone's face.

      • MT Mama · 1085 days ago

        Thanks Renee, i have stopped tagging....but I guess where I'm confused is this.

        I am friends with Bob. Bob is friends with Joe. I am not friends with Joe. Before, if Bob commented on Joe's status, I saw an entry on his wall/recent activity that said "bob commented on joe's status." but it didn't actually show me the status. So I assumed the same was true on my page. Now if Bob comments on Joe's status, I can actually ready Joe's status and ensuing comments, even though I *know* Joe's settings are "friends only." I don't get that. Maybe I"m missing something :/

  55. Mark · 1085 days ago

    The issue of wall postings being revealed to friends and/or strangers is one thing. I just assume that if I post something on a wall it better be something I don't mind others reading about because I don't have control over who gets to see it, the owner of the wall has that control.

    What about "likes" going into the ticker? If a page is liked does this go straight into the ticker regardless of the page's settings? If I like a friends wall post or comment then I would assume that the "like" goes into people's ticker only if the original wall post was visible to them.

    Has anyone (out there or at Sophos) confirmed the behaviour of "likes" in the ticker?

    I don't have the new Facebook profile yet so I can't test it.

  56. Julie · 1085 days ago

    Hi Clare, I think you're confusing the "Friends of Friends" issue (old) with the Ticker issue (new). Here's what seems to happen, from my observations and testing:
    1. I comment on MyFriend#1's post. That comment immediately shows up on my Wall under Recent Activity. MyFriend#2 (NOT friends with MyFriend#1) goes to my Wall and sees that Recent Activity, clicks on the link, and can see MyFriend#1's post, including my comment on it. (As far as I can tell, the only way to stop this is to prevent people from seeing my wall at all or to delete the posts from my wall and stop them appearing on my wall--which means that I can't see them either!) This seems independent of MyFriend#1's setting of "Friends" vs. "Friends of Friends"--see #2.
    2. IF MyFriend#1's setting is "Friends of Friends", my comment on MyFriend#1's post ALSO shows up in MY News Feed for ALL of my friends, regardless of whether or not they are friends with MyFriend#1 (annoying, as you've said). You are correct that to stop this, MyFriend#1 needs to change his/her setting to "Friends." If MyFriend#1's setting is Friends, my comment on his/her post does NOT show up in MY News Feed, but it is still just as accessible via my Wall under Recent Activity.
    3. Here's what's new: ALL of my Recent Activity--the same stuff that shows up on my Wall, regardless of my friends' settings--now shows up in ALL of my friends' tickers. Essentially, instead of my friends needing to go to my wall to see my Recent Activity, it now shows up in their tickers. If I don't want to see all of my friends' activity unrelated to me or my friends, it DOES work to unsubscribe from his/her Comments and Likes. His/her own posts still show up in both my News Feed and my Ticker, but his/her comments on other people's posts with whom I'm not friends no longer show up in my Ticker. If my friends unsubscribe from my Comments and Likes, then my Recent Activity unrelated to them no longer shows in their Tickers.

    The problem is that there does not seem to be a global setting that *I* can change to stop my Recent Activity from showing up in my friends' Tickers--that's what FB needs to change, and while they're at it, they should provide a setting that also allows me to stop people from viewing my Recent Activity on my wall.

    Thanks for the article!

  57. Sara · 1085 days ago

    I don't know why I can't save my custom privacy to Friends Only.

  58. KLM · 1085 days ago

    I wish there was a way I could prevent my stuff from showing up on the ticker...that is the option that is needed plus a way to hide the ticker!

  59. KAS · 1085 days ago

    Helpful, except not so much, because people I'm friends with can still see my posts in open groups that they aren't a part of.
    The whole thing's a disaster and stupid.

  60. Sandy · 1085 days ago

    I chose to NOT post private things. There is NO such thing as privacy on the Internet.

  61. George · 1085 days ago

    a far simpler solution would be that facebook gets rid of the useless ticker altogether.

  62. Denise · 1085 days ago

    Hate to tell you, but this is not what I'm experiencing. I am getting comments on photos marked "friends" from "friends of friends" ... even when I can't even see where my original "friend" liked or commented on or otherwise even viewed the photo. And the photo is marked "friends", as are the rest of my privacy settings.

    So telling me that there isn't a problem isn't washing... because I have a problem and cannot see that there's a way to fix it other than no longer using facebook. If the privacy settings don't work, they are no good at all.

    And this could be dangerous to people who have stalker/angry ex issues... right now I have no idea which of my posts that my children comment on go to my ex.

    SO THIS IS A PROBLEM. Facebook needs to get on a fix NOW.

  63. Facebook user · 1085 days ago

    This article isn't 100% accurate -

    Suppose Jane is a Facebook user whose profile privacy settings are such that anyone from the general public cannot see any of her wall, or her photos. All they see when they click on her profile link is a message that says "Jane only shares certain information with people", and the link to use to send her a friend request.

    Suppose John is a Facebook user, and John is my facebook friend. Suppose John is also facebook friends with Jane.

    Before the ticker was deployed, if John posted a comment to a thread on Jane's wall, I would not see the notification in my notifications box under the "globe" icon in my menu bar. I would have no idea who John's friends were. I would only get a notification if John posted something onto the wall of another mutual friend of ours. But not Jane's wall.

    Now, WITH the ticker, I DO see a notification scroll by that says "John replied to a comment on Jane's wall". And if I click the notification on the ticker, BAM! I'm looking at Jane's wall post, AND I can scroll down through all the other comments and see what my friend, John, wrote - Even though Jane and I are NOT friends, and if I attempt to view her profile directly, I am blocked and can only send her a friend invite.

    The ticker gets around what we came to expect was Facebook's privacy rules.

  64. Mark · 1085 days ago

    Hi guys I think I have found the answer to this. Please test and post if it works for you.

    To stop people from viewing Recent Activity on your wall - just click on an 'X' next to an activity in your news feed and select "Hide all recent ... activity". The ... can apply to either comments, likes or friendship adds.

    This should also stop recent comments from appearing in your news feed.

    This may possibly stop it appearing in your ticker but I can't actually test this yet because I don't have the new profile. It appears to work for the news feed so I hope it also works for the ticker (as it should).

    In order to reshow activities, at the bottom of your news feed, click "Edit Options" and you will see a list of activities that are currently hidden. If you click the X on the right of the activity and delete it from the list, that type of activity will now show up again in your news feed (and possibly ticker).

    • renee · 1085 days ago

      This only affects the news feed, not the ticker. And you'd have to do it for each type of activity from each friend individually. When you get the ticker, you'll see the difference: it announces every comment and like that any of your friends posts, neither of which show up in the news feed. And when you hover over each item, it shows you what the person was commenting on or liking, even if you aren't friends with the person who posted it. Really irritating.

    • Emily · 1085 days ago

      I've always had my profile on lockdown (aka, all activity hidden) Yet my friends are still seeing my likes/comments on other pages which leads me to believe that privacy is still up to my friends. The particular page I was commenting on doesn't have much in the way of privacy, so my thinking is that because of that, that's why it's showing up to my friends in their ticker. Trust me when I say I've tested the HECK out of this theory, because I firmly believe it has something to do with getting this fixed.

      If I don't have these activities on my wall, then why would FB assume I'd like them in the ticker?? Oh yeah, because they don't give a crud about my privacy.

  65. Ida · 1085 days ago

    So, why did Facebook make PUBLIC the default setting? Why didn't they make FRIENDS the default setting, then we wouldn't have to be changing things so much.

  66. damian · 1085 days ago

    useful this thanks.

  67. michelle roberts · 1085 days ago

    we should have a button to shut that ticker window if we dont want it up...

  68. robin · 1085 days ago

    Simpler solution - Don't post comment you don't want the world to see in a public forum.m Send private messages privately.

  69. Janie · 1085 days ago

    Do the settings on groups work the same way as personal pages? And is it the admin who has to set the privacy settings? Thanks.

  70. EdGe · 1085 days ago

    In addition to this, I also don't want people to know what app or game I am currently playing. I hate that game ticker....

  71. chelt · 1084 days ago

    Also I have to say I really really really hate the part where when we choose lists of people only to see our statuses, people on those lists can see each others' names when hovered over the gear wheel (custom set control)!!!! I am NOT happy with this at all! I would prefer to only show as "Custom" thats it! NOT show who can see my statuses!!!!!!!!!!!!! OR people will get upset at me, or at each other or accuse me of hiding from other friends that they may know! I DONT LIKE IT Mark Zuk!!!!! CHANGE that one please. Thank you!

  72. Helin · 1084 days ago

    I don't want my comments and the things I like to appear on the ticker. This is totally violation of privacy!!
    Can someone help me?

  73. FBfanatic · 1084 days ago

    This was so helpful, I have been googling this exact question for several days now and in the meantime avoiding using FB (ugh the pain, right?!) because I wasn't sure who could see what I have been writing. I have a potty mouth and could make a sailor blush but I am not about to let my little cousins see that side of me! Nor do I want work colleagues knowing about it!

    As for the photos - I found that out recently when it was brought to my attention that others could see my photos - I had to go back and INDIVIDUALLY change the pricacy settings for each album, complete pain in the butt.

  74. Arndis · 1084 days ago

    This only covers POSTS and COMMENTS. What about announcements, such as on who has become my friend or what event I'm planning to attend? How can I prevent strangers from seeing that? The article doesn't cover that.

  75. Sheila · 1083 days ago

    What is REALLY ANNOYING ME is that ALL my friends can see my RESPONSES on MY other friends' wall posts!!! I've had people message me about comments I have made on someone else's page that THEY ARE NOT EVEN FRIENDS WITH!!!! I HATE that Facebbook is forcing EAVESDROPPING!!!!! People hate that!!!!! Why would they do something so stupid?!!!

  76. Guest · 1083 days ago

    What is on your wall is in the ticker. So,on your own wall, scroll down until you find where it says you posted on a friend's post. Hover over that to see an 'x' to the left and click it. Then you choose to hide 'all like this'. Do the same for a 'like'.

  77. fundamentallyflawed · 1083 days ago

    A friend just had his facebook account hacked. Someone left viciously false, libelous and potentially career destroying fake updates. He has removed these, but there's nothing he can do about these false updates having already been posted on tens of thousands of other peoples news tickers.

  78. Wino · 1083 days ago

    Simple solution - quit FB and join Google Plus. Already done so, very happy with it.

  79. Robert · 1082 days ago

    I closed my FB account. Call me old fashion - I told my friends to email or text me - I don't need 2 know what they R doing every second of the day. Plus if they are true friends you already know what they are doing or where they have been. This social network is going 2 come back and bite many ppl in the rear one day.

  80. Joren · 1082 days ago

    Its just doing what it's supposed to do. I'm not baffled but more or less stunned with the stupidity of most users.

  81. hossenfeffer · 1081 days ago

    Facebook? Oh right. Yeah, I switched to Google+ and lever looked back.

  82. Lisa · 1081 days ago

    How about this solution: Cancel your FB account. I did and it was just about the best thing I did all year!

  83. Ella · 1081 days ago

    Now when you share with custom lists, it will tell people you're sharing with who else is on the list! It used to just say 'custom' when you hovered over the little icon next to the timestamp. It won't give the name of the list, but you can see all the names on the list, which is enough to figure out which list you're on. Outrageous.

  84. Dave · 1081 days ago

    In the upper left corner of each Top Story, there's a little triangle. Click it, and it's no longer a top story, and Facebook says it will try not to put stories like it as Top Stories. Keep it up, and after a while, all that's left is recent stories. Then Facebook won't select some of your friends updates to put above others that it keeps hidden off the screen. It makes Facebook usable again.

  85. carla Juvenal · 1080 days ago

    I never post anything anyone wants to know about. I think the changes suck to quote the younger people.

  86. a fb user · 1079 days ago

    What about the public search? In the private settings you can mark the "public search" =
    Show a preview of your Facebook profile when people look for you using a search engine.

    I haven't marked it, but ppl can find me on google. I don't want that!!!

  87. stacey · 1077 days ago

    I have all my privacy settings intact, yet I still have people on my list intruding and commenting on non-mutual friends' posts... they can obviously see these posts still, even with the settings and if someone else's is not set right. they still have the right for their posts to to remain for their friends only to see, and it infringes on your rights when YOUR comments are seen and commented on inappropriately. It should not be up to us to contact everyone to check their settings.( and thus far that isn't working, mine were set right already) Seriously, this has alot of people angry! Get rid of that intrusive Ticker it's causing needless problems. No non-friends should ever be able to comment on someone's wall. It was a privacy we had that has been taken!

  88. stacey · 1077 days ago

    You are also supposed to be able to custom each post, that is a good feature, however some of them come up, YOUR FRIENDS which is good. some come up as FRIENDS and will not change. I'm assuming that includes...friends of friends. Why is there no consistancy in those control settings? and it puts you in that ticker anyway.

  89. stacey · 1076 days ago

    NON-FRIENDS SHOULD NEVER BE ABLE TO POST ON YOUR WALL! OR THE WALLS OF OTHER NON-FRIENDS!!!! That was a privacy we had and it has been taken with the Ticker. It's ridiculous to expect our privacy to be up to the diligence of our friends. Posts are one thing, but now we are seeing every comment made, it's quite intrusive! I do not want STRANGERS posting on my wall! I don't want anyone on my list commenting uninvited on my other friends posts. I would strongly suggest... Facebook re-evaluate this new system and make a change in favor of their users. It is hard enough to combat the hackers, and pranks, and constant changes and having to re-set security measures, then to have our network provider to be the ones violating our privacy!!!

  90. paul · 1076 days ago

    I do not want people commenting on my wall. Nor do I want any one commenting on my friends walls! This ticker isn't right. It's a bad decision on the part of the network. And should be done away with. We can control our settings but not everyone's and it is the responability of the provider to correct this problem.

  91. Monstercat · 1075 days ago

    FB is not the Post Office or e-mail where there is some expectation of privacy. It is the internet where. FB is a way to connect to all kinds of people. Not a private messaging service.

  92. jjmc · 1072 days ago

    can you please tell me how i stop fbook showing on my wall when i comment on peoples status etc, thank you

  93. Herzco · 1069 days ago

    Can someone explain more about the tagging of photos in the new FB, as that is an entirely separate issue? Specifically: if I tag a photo and set it to "only me" as the privacy setting, do only me and the tagged parties see the photo?

    Photos have their own settings, and it seems they are visible to more people than one might expect. But on the other hand, being the only person who sees your own photo seems silly.

    Does anyone know what share photos with "only me" TRULY means?

  94. FoS · 1041 days ago

    what I still mind is that even though all my posts are only to Friends (no Friends of Friends or Public), I don't want them to see EVERYTHING I do like change stuff on my info page or read a comment I made on another non-Friend page. That is what Facebook does not understand. They want us to see EVERYTHING from EVERYONE.

  95. Margarida Novo · 1028 days ago

    Many thanks! This is most helpful. This ticker feature is scary...

  96. balance · 1016 days ago

    But you're still screwed if you want to use public Pages or open groups. It's not strangers I'm worried about, it's relatives. In the past, a relative of mine would have to be at the URL for the Page I'm commenting on/liking stuff on to see my activity there, which was highly unlikely, as they probably wouldn't know it exists and wouldn't be looking for it. Now it gets put right at the top of their feed page if I do anything in political/spiritual/health issue/etc. Pages.

    So you either have to:
    ● Stop using FB Pages (big feature rendered useless)
    ● Unfriend people you want to stay connected to, but don't want up in your business
    ● Put them on the Restricted list, and then you have to post publicly to show them anything (and for relatives that's likely to be stuff I don't want public, like pictures of my kids)
    ● Make a 2nd account to use for any activity on things you don't want those people knowing about (which is technically against FB's rules)

    Privacy Fail. It does NOT work like it did before, except for friend list settings on your own posts, which might be a concern for many, but it's not the only concern.

  97. Tina · 1007 days ago

    Well how about FB just get rid of all this retarded upgrading! So sick of people trying to fix something that doesnt need to be fixed. The tagging your friends in a post was the last upgrade that was worth a crap.

  98. dorothy · 1007 days ago

    Privacy and Facebook are contradictions. How about we just accept this fact and stop imagining that anything we post is private?

  99. Fiona · 1007 days ago

    I dont think people are really concerned about "everyone" but more friends of friends because there are people who they have not added but someone else has added them so in the end you might as well have added them because if you choose friends of friends they will be able to see it anyway... In the end this is all a bit stupid, if you dont want stuff seen by other people private msg people, plain and simple...its much like the real world anyway, if you say something theres no stopping someone else from telling others what you said much like others reading what you said... at least they dismissed the other thing going around not to see my comments, that was the most stupid thing going around, my mum was like you have to do it, Im like no Mum that means I dont see your comments and you dont see their comments how does this make sense...

  100. Beth · 1006 days ago

    i always assume everyone can see anything i post. so for me, i'm surprised when some one can't see what i post.

  101. dave · 1006 days ago

    everytime i post on a group all my friends see that....how does one stop that.... i only want group members to see...

  102. Lynne · 993 days ago

    When I kicked up about this, I had smug friends telling me I was making a fuss about nothing, or querying what there was in my life that I wanted keeping secret. They just didn't 'get' it.

  103. shaggy · 992 days ago

    Thank you very much for this information it has been a great help to me.

  104. Erik · 991 days ago

    I do not believe that this is still correct. Having incorrect information out there means that folks will not be setting things the way they should be setting them.

    See this article here for the correct way to set things up:
    http://www.cio.com/article/690742/Facebook_s_New_...

    You are not responsible for your friends privacy, only your own.

  105. jo milner · 990 days ago

    when you go onto a game if you dont want people knowing you are playing then when the ticker says ... is playing ...game hover over it until the box opens with the comment box, to the right top side theres an arrow, click that and it opens a drop down box, there you can select not to post is playing posts from that app, you will need to do this for every game but at least it keeps a little more privacy in our control

  106. Sweetness · 990 days ago

    The ticker also makes it really hard to kind of stay incognito on facebook as well. One day I was trying to kind of avoid chatting with anyone, but then I had people messaging me. They knew I was online because of the stupid ticker. It showed me as being added to a group. Sometimes I like to just go on FB mess around with some games or whatever I am doing and not get hounded with messages. So staying offline to chat does me absolutely no good. Also every time I log onto a game it shows up in the ticker and I rather it wouldn't. I have set all my settings to friends only and I personally have not received any strangers commenting on my posts. I definitely do see pretty much everything my friends comment on whether i want to or not. I try to mostly ignore that stupid ticker. I hope FB soon makes it so people can opt out of their info being shown on that stupid thing.

  107. Roberta · 990 days ago

    Why don't you just get rid of the ticker that would make more since.

  108. ....If you don't want people to know about it - why the HELL are you putting it on the internet???

    • marc · 897 days ago

      its obvious!
      maybe I want to 'like' a photo of this girl that I like...
      if anyone sees the photo, then its fine...
      but you dont expect all 700 of my friends and family to see that I 'liked' some girls photo.

  109. Chris · 981 days ago

    I don't even have the new ticker news feed!.. haven't had it since it started. .most people tell me I'm better off by not having it ..but I'd like to have all the features of FB.. does anyone know how I can get it? Thanks..

  110. Enrico · 981 days ago

    But if you've got something private to say, why can't you just send a private message instead of using the wall? It's the misuse of facebook that creates problems, honestly I can't fault facebook too much on this occasion.

  111. Anthony · 981 days ago

    I have had my privacy setting set to friends only since long before the introduction of the ticker and I have still been plagued with unnecessary info. Since I have instituted the hovering and unchecking method being suggested, my ticker has been less congested with unnecessary info. I still get status updates from my friends I have unchecked using the initial suggested method so I think I will continue to hover and uncheck. It seems to be working.

  112. Tech-NO · 980 days ago

    I never believe the posts like the "hover over my name" one. Too much of a risk for it being BS. That being said, how do my friends who did do that "undo" it? I posted this article, but there is no mention of how to do that, and I'd like to post that answer. Thanks!

  113. Rusty · 969 days ago

    How can I make it so that when I "like" something, it doesn't broadcast it?

  114. Ian · 955 days ago

    Looks like a variation of this scare is circulating about the FB timeline:

    "Hi Everyone...I'd like to keep FB private except to those I am friends with. So if you all would do the following, I'd appreciate it. With the new FB timeline on its way this week for EVERYONE, please do me a favour. Hover over my name above. In a few seconds you'll see a box that says : "Subscribed". Hover over that, then go to "comments and likes" and unclick it. That will stop my posts and yours to me from showing up on the bar side for everyone to see, but most importantly it limits hackers from invading our profiles. If you re-post this, I will do the same for you. You'll know I've returned the favor because when you tell me that you've done it, I'll "like" your comment"

  115. A. H. · 941 days ago

    What about posts on closed or secret pages/groups?

  116. Hay · 938 days ago

    Sorry if this has been covered..I have a quick question...I have set all my security/privacy settings as high/private as is possible on my FB account - which doesn’t really feel enough TBH - anyway - I have a group of 'Close Friends' in my ‘custom’ list who can see everything and always select 'Close Friends' when I update my status etc and for photos etc, everyone else is on a limited access...my question is this, will my activity still appear in the ticker to all my ‘friends’ or only my close friends which is what I want it to be? Thanks :)

  117. Guest · 902 days ago

    what if you had someone friends of friends and someone liked it then you changed the setting to visible to a few people. will the people that already commented or like be able to see the rest of the convo??

  118. Aaron · 899 days ago

    Is there a way to make everything I do stop showing up in everyone elses news feed? Such as everytime I "like" a photo/post/comment or everytime I comment on something everyone of my friends can see it in their news feed. I have tried everything to stop it but I can't seem to get it right... I'm ready to just deactivate my entire account!

  119. Mad · 836 days ago

    Someone unfriended me but sent me a letter saying they can still see my comments in Ticker. I didn't believe it as all my posts are set to "Friends" only. Low and behold, even though this person and I are not friends, I see him posting on a stranger's message today. Apparently his friend's posts are viewable to the public, and Ticker seems to have a glitch allowing me to see whenever he posts to a public post--a stranger to me, or a page we both liked. Unreal. I should not see his posts as he and the friend he posted on are not even friends of mine. Ticker is screwed. Facebook needs to fix this. Also it seems that whenever someone shares a picture I post, set to friends only, next thing you know their friends can all see my picture and my comments. This is ridiculous!

  120. the connecting friend when strangers show up in your feed. It is their settings that made them show up. This will illustrate to them why they also need to change their settings. lounge 

  121. peanut060200 · 819 days ago

    If someone tagged me in a photo and I had my profile review turned on (I ignored the post rather than approved), can my friends see this photo on their ticker? thanks!

  122. Leslie Fuquinay Miller · 732 days ago

    Your article is JUST PLAIN WRONG. You can turn off the visibility of your friends *likes* and comments by turning it off in your own subscriptions. You do have to do each friend's settings.

    Even if I am semi-private and only post things for friends or only comment on posts visible to friends, MY FRIENDS will still see what I comment on and like as long as they have it checked in their subscription under my name!

  123. I love how many people on here are worried that their Facebook comments may be seen by friends of friends (though if you trust your friends, you should trust their judgement), but you are all willing to make a public comment in THIS forum.

  124. Lynne Roue · 489 days ago

    My issue is the blasted Ticker........ I have privacy set to 'close friends'. I have joined a few Closed Groups, and yet if I comment on those groups, a friend is telling me she can see what I have said because it appears on the ticker, even though she isnt a member of those groups. Surely if I join a closed group, only the members of that group should see what I am saying! It is disgusting that I cant control what is seen. Am thinking of leaving all groups, or not commenting on them, till (ha-ha) Facebook gives ME control of what others see.

    Incidentally on all the groups, I have Notifications set to 'Off'.

  125. Great article, have been looking for a good explanation.

  126. Just some guy · 437 days ago

    I can't stop laughing at the idea of a private conversation on Facebook. Or anywhere on the Internet. Or anywhere period, perhaps.

  127. Worried · 371 days ago

    I have a question, I can I stop my FB activity on pages or groups from being index. I have a cyber stalker who can now look up everything I do on a page, all my like and comments on photos. I never allowed this information to be open to the public. An ex, a co-worker that might not like me, complete strangers who are fixated on me, can now see everything I do. How do I stop this? I can look up a radon name of a person I have clue who they are and see every like and comment they made on a photo that was public and I can find the pages they like and cyber stalk if I so choose to do so! I want to stop that from happening to me!

  128. Anonymous · 168 days ago

    If my fb statuses are limited to just a handful of friends can other friends who couldnt see my status on my page and newsfeed see my status through a ticker if another friend commented on it that could see my status?

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About the author

Clare Washbrook is a freelance writer providing varied content for websites, etymology databases and misinformation and hoax articles as well as research articles on a broad variety of topics. Visit her website at http://gobsplat.weebly.com/.