Facebook removing option to be unsearchable by name

facebook privacy

Just a heads up for those that missed the news yesterday: Facebook is going to be removing the ‘Who can look up your Timeline by name’ privacy option that allowed you to make it so your profile could not be found via search.

The social network actually removed the option for those who weren’t using it last December. But for the small percentage still using it, it has announced that they will receive reminders about its removal in the coming weeks…

From Michael Richter, Facebook’s Chief Privacy Officer:

“Last year we announced the removal of an old setting called “Who can look up your Timeline by name?” along with new controls for managing content on Facebook.

The search setting was removed last year for people who weren’t using it. For the small percentage of people still using the setting, they will see reminders about it being removed in the coming weeks.

Whether you’ve been using the setting or not, the best way to control what people can find about you on Facebook is to choose who can see the individual things you share.”

So why’s Facebook removing the privacy feature? Two reasons. For one, it made the new Graph search function feel broken, as users would complain that they could not find users that they met through Facebook Groups, etc.

The second, likely more important reason is that the feature was very misleading. Users thought that with it enabled, strangers wouldn’t be able to find their profile, but that wasn’t the case—think photo tags, Likes, Shares, etc.

So what now? Those still using the ‘Who can look up your Timeline by name’ option will get a huge notice across their Timeline over the next few weeks, with tips on how to better manage your privacy using privacy shortcuts.