We take a look at an important Facebook setting that allows you to review Facebook tags before they appear on your timeline and explain why it is such an important setting.
At the time of writing, Facebook does not allow its users to disable the often annoying tag feature. This means your friends on Facebook can tag you in photos in which you appear or posts that involve you, and you can’t really stop them.
However, you can enable the tag review feature.
What is the tag review feature?
It is important to remember that this feature doesn’t stop people from tagging you in stuff. However it does allow you to review everything you have been tagged in before it appears on your timeline.
Without the feature enabled, any content you’ve been tagged in – be it photos, posts or check-ins – appear on your timeline the moment you get tagged. This means anyone going on to your timeline will see it, and there is a much greater chance that the content will appear in the newsfeeds of your friends as well.
Enabling the tag review feature allows you to accept, hide or un-tag yourself in any content you have been tagged in before it appears on your timeline.
This is great because it limits the visibility of any content you may not want to tagged in because it doesn’t appear on your timeline, and there is a smaller chance of it appearing in the newsfeeds of your friends.
Again though, it is important to remember that even when using the tag review feature, content you’ve been tagged in may still be visible, even if you’ve hidden it from your timeline or haven’t gotten around to reviewing it yet. This is especially possible if you have lots of mutual friends with the person who uploaded and tagged you in the content, or if the content features many other people. This is because the content will probably be available on the timelines of other tagged people, and thus it may still appear in the newsfeeds of your mutual friends as well.
To summarise – tag review doesn’t hide content you’re tagged in, but it does limit its visibility.
Why review your tags?
You can always un-tag yourself from content you don’t want to be in, but by then it may be too late. The photo or post you’ve been tagged in could have been seen by your Facebook contacts before you had a chance to remove that tag.
This could be troublesome because it might be a post you don’t want to be associated with. Such as racist or bigoted content. Or it could be an embarrassing photo of you that you don’t want your family seeing, for example. Perhaps the photo you were tagged in has no privacy settings, meaning anyone can see it, including potential or current employers, who are increasingly using social media to research job candidates or to look up existing workers.
Or you could have been tagged in spam, since many rogue Facebook apps installed by your friends have the ability to tag you in random spammy photos or posts that – without tag review – will appear on your timeline, and can be seen by your own friends.
How do I enable the tag review feature?
The setting is in your main account settings under the Timeline & Tagging section. On Facebook desktop, just click the down-arrow at the top right of the screen and select Settings and then hit Timeline and Tagging where the option Review posts that friends tag you in before they appear on your Timeline? then appears – just enable it.
It’s similar for mobile but click the menu icon (usually 3 horizontal lines) and click Settings to access your main settings, and then click Privacy Settings.
Reviewing tags can be important for a number of reasons. It isn’t a perfect solution, since it doesn’t give you the option of preventing people from tagging you in the first place (an option Facebook doesn’t really want to give you) but it can greatly reduce the visibility of content you’ve been tagged in, meaning you at least get a chance to remove a tag (or take other action) before the content gets thrown onto your timeline for all your friends to see.
It’s a privacy setting we certainly recommend enabling.