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7 Sep 2012 - Article No: 1609

Users not in Your Contact List can Access Your Information? Warning - Facebook Rumour

Other Keywords: I want to Stay Privately Connected with You



To all my FB friends, I want to stay PRIVATELY connected with you. However, with the recent changes in FB, the public can now see all activities in any wall. This happens when our friend hits "like" or "comment", automatically, their friends would see our posts too. Unfortunately, we cannot change this setting ourselves because Facebook has configured it this way. Only you can do this!!!

Place your mouse over my name above (do not click), a window will appear, now move the mouse on “FRIENDS" (also without clicking), then down to "Settings", click here and a list will appear. REMOVE the CHECK on "COMMENTS & LIKE" by clicking on it. By doing this, my activity amongst my friends and my family will no longer become public. Many thanks! Paste this on your wall so your contacts would follow suit too, that is, if you care about your privacy.
collected September 2012


For the next 2 weeks I will be posting this and please once you have done it please post done, because those of you who do not keep my information from going out to the public I will have to DELETE YOU: I want to stay PRIVATELY connected with you. I post shots of my family that I dont want strangers to have access to!!! However, with the recent changes in FB, the "public" can now see activities on ANY wall. This happens when our friend hits "like" or "comment" ~ automatically, their friends would see our posts too. Unfortunately, we can not change this setting by ourselves because Facebook has configured it this way. PLEASE place your mouse over my name above (DO NOT CLICK), a window will appear, now move the mouse on “FRIENDS" (also without clicking), then down to "Settings", click here and a list will appear. REMOVE the CHECK on "LIFE EVENTS" "STATUS UPDATES" "PHOTOS" and "COMMENTS & LIKES". By doing this, my activity among my friends and family will no longer become public. Now, copy and paste this on your wall. Once I see this posted on your page I will do the same...
collected January 2013


Attention, all my contacts! With changes in FB, everyone can now access information from persons who are not in contacts. All that is needed is for this person who is not in your list of friends to comment or click on "like" to access your information.

I do not want people that I have not selected as contacts on FB to access my information but I can`t change it myself.


I ask you, therefore, to point the mouse on my name above (Don`t click), wait for the pop up, point the mouse again on "friends" (Don`t click). Then click on "settings" and remove the check mark in "Comments and Like". Thus, my activity will no longer be in the public domain. Thank you!"
collected September 2012


ATTENTION EVERYONE: With the recent changes in FB, now anyone can see things from people who are not in your contacts list. Just because a contact of yours makes a comment or "likes" in some activity of that person. I do not want strangers to contact me, and would like that they do not read and see all my comments, but I cannot change this myself because Facebook has configured it this way. But you can do it for me. ...PLEASE PLEASE place your mouse over my name above (do not click), a window will appear and move the mouse on "Friends" (also without clicking), then down to "Settings", click here and a list will appear. Click "Comments and Like" to remove the CHECK. By doing this, my activity amongst my friends and my family does not become public. Paste this on your wall for your contacts, if you care about your privacy!!
collected September 2012


ONCE MORE!!! DUE TO THE NEW “GRAPH APP” ANYONE ON FACEBOOK (INCLUDING OTHER COUNTRIES) CAN SEE YOUR PICTURES, LIKES, AND COMMENTS. The next 2 weeks I will be posting this, and please once you have done it please post DONE! Those of you who do not keep my information from going out to the public, I will have to DELETE YOU! I want to stay PRIVATELY connected with you. I post shots of my family that I dont want strangers to have access to!!! This happens when our friends click "like" or "comment"... automatically, their friends would see our posts too. Unfortunately, we cannot change this setting by ourselves because Facebook has configured it that way. PLEASE place your mouse over my name above (DO NOT CLICK), a window will appear, now move the mouse on “FRIENDS" (also without clicking), then down to "Settings", click here and a list will appear. REMOVE the CHECK on "LIFE EVENTS" and "COMMENTS & LIKES". By doing this, my activity among my friends and family will no longer become public. Now, copy and paste this on your wall. Once I see this posted on your Page, I will do the same ok
collected January 2013


Hello to all of you who are on my list of contacts of Facebook. I would like to ask a favor of you…. You may not know that Facebook has changed its privacy configuration once again. Thanks to the new "Graphic app", any person in Facebook anywhere in the world can see our photos, our "like" and our “comments”. During the next two weeks, I am going to keep this message posted and I ask you to do the following and comment "DONE". Those of my friends who do not maintain my information in private will be eliminated from my list of friends, because I want the information I share with you, my friends, to remain among my friends and not be available to the whole world. I want to be able to publish photos of my friends and family without strangers being able to see them which is what happens now when you choose "like" or "comment".

Unfortunately we cannot change this configuration because Facebook has made it like this. So, please, place your cursor over my photo that appears in this box (without clicking) and a window will open. Now move the cursor to the word "Friends", again without clicking and then on "Settings". Uncheck "Life Events" and "Comments and Like". This way my activity with my family and friends will no longer be made public. Now, copy and paste this text on your own wall (do not "share" it!). Once I see it published on your page, I will un-check the same for you.
Collected July 2013




These messages warns users that recent privacy changes on Facebook have allowed strangers to see content on your timeline (such as status updates, comments and photos) when your friends comment or like your posts.

The messages are TOTAL nonsense and have been authored by people with no understanding of how Facebook’s inbuilt privacy settings work.

It appears these inaccurate "warnings" are just a continuation of a fundamental misunderstanding of how
Facebooks privacy features work that started when the Facebook Ticker was introduced years ago.

The confusion arises because commenting and liking on status updates and photos that are set to public does indeed allow those updates and photos to be seen by people the poster does not know (i.e. strangers) - however this only happens to status updates and photos that are set to public. This is easily rectified by a user changing their privacy settings to "friends only" which then stops this from happening.

We discuss how this issue arises in this blog post - here is an excerpt of that post -

Firstly, we have 3 Facebook users, Tom, Mary and Dave.

Tom knows Mary. Mary knows Dave. Tom and Dave do not know each other. Mary is the “connecting friend”, if you see what we mean.
Now Dave’s privacy settings are set to Public. This means anyone can see, for example, his status updates if they went to his Facebook profile. Now imagine Dave updates his status and Mary – being his Facebook friend – comments on the status. This has nothing to do with Tom, who doesn’t even know Dave, but because he is friends with Mary, this “story” will appear in Tom’s ticker, including Dave’s status update and Mary’s comment.
This can be potentially annoying to all 3 of our users.
Tom doesn’t want to see this story as it is irrelevant to him.
Dave might not want his status broadcast on Tom’s ticker.
Mary may not want her comment to Dave’s status broadcast to Tom (or her other friends).

The problem is down to Dave’s privacy settings. If Dave set his privacy settings to Friends, Mary would still see his status and could comment on it because she is Dave’s friend. However it would not appear on Tom’s ticker, or the tickers of Mary’s other friends (unless they too were friends of Dave) However Mary’s comment and Dave’s status has been broadcast to all of her friends via the ticker, because it was made on a status set to public.


You see, in that example, Tom was given the story about Daves update and Marys comment because - theoretically - that information was already accessible to Tom, who could have visited Daves Facebook timeline and seen it for himself, because Daves information is set to public.

Of course the solution is simple - if a Facebook user does not want their posted content being broadcast to strangers when other users comment and like on it, then all that user needs to do is sort out their privacy settings to keep their information private. Thats it! Set your content to private means that when your friends like or comment on it, it is NOT accessible to strangers. Period.

update: later versions claim this "privacy breach" is down to the introduction of the Facebook "graph app" (or "graphic app") - likely alluding to the Facebook Graph Search feature being rolled out by Facebook. Graph Search does not alter your privacy settings at all - what was private before is still private, and assertions that your likes, comments or any other content is "now accessible to strangers" is completely false.

If the content you share on Facebook is set to private (i.e. "Friends Only") then only the friends of that Facebook user can see it, regardless of if your friends comment or like it. These messages fail to acknowledge that simple fact and instead provide a completely worthless “solution” about unchecking Likes and Comments which prevents all of that friends likes and comments from reaching your newsfeed, which negates the social aspect of Facebook.

The messages are incorrect and absolutely should not be circulated. The "solution" in the message is wrong and will only result in users not being able to see what their friends are doing on Facebook.

If you take anything away from this article, be it this - YOU are the only person who controls how public the information YOU post is. If you do not want your information broadcast to strangers then make sure your information is set to private! BUT remember - anyone can copy/paste content or take screenshots so if you cannot afford something falling into the wrong hands then DO NOT UPLOAD IT TO FACEBOOK.



Social media and the Internet is rife with rumour, misinformation, propaganda and untruth. It is like this because people can be irresponsible with what information they choose to share.

Our community works hard to try and debunk and assist in as many cases as possible, as well as teach people how to share responsibly. We believe it is important that anyone who uses the Internet be able to identify false rumours and fully understands the possible consequences of spreading false information.

If you are interested in this, feel free to read our two-part blog. Part 1 deals with how to spot and debunk Internet rumours and Part 2 deals with the reasons why you should never circulate false information.

Additionally if you have fallen for this rumour or have Facebook friends that have, you can join our growing Facebook page here or sign up to our mailing list here.


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