Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Facebook: whose postings can you see?

Oh, lovely. Another lot of tosh that's doing the rounds at the moment.

This one says:

"Facebook has changed its News Feed AGAIN, so that by default, you can only see updates from people with whom you've recently interacted. To change this, click on 'Account', then 'Edit friends' then at the top left, click "All Friends.""

NO. The Account > Edit Friends setting is simply to display the list of friends you want to see listed at that time. It's a way of conveniently filtering your contacts - helpful if you want to find somebody quickly (e.g. by group, recently added, recently interacted or whatever). It makes no difference to updates you see on your wall. You can prove this by going back to the setting after you have ostensibly changed it (go back to your wall, then back to the Account > Edit Friends setting again); you'll find that it still says the same as it did before.

To change the 'who you see postings from on your wall' setting, you need to click on where it says 'most recent' (as opposed to 'top news') on your front page; choose Edit Options from the drop-down list; and *there* you'll see the choice between 'all friends' and 'those you interact with the most'. That's the setting that will make a difference to what you see on your wall.

PLEASE - check these messages properly before reposting. This one is inaccurate, but I've seen it several times in the last few days.


I do get a bit uptight about these postings. It seems to be that they are most prolific when the users can scream 'FACEBOOK HAS DONE IT WRONG AGAIN'. Don't get me wrong - I completely agree that there have been many occasions when the default settings could potentially compromise privacy; when they've made yet another change to the interface without giving suitable guidelines; and much more. However, this sort of run-round-in-circles-screaming nonsense doesn't help anybody - especially when, as in this particular case, it's completely inaccurate and misleading. The funny thing is that the business about 'whose updates you see' is a genuine issue, and was correctly flagged up as such on postings a while back. Why on earth, then, do people feel the need to put up incorrect advice like this?

Like all other 'send this to all your friends' postings, I always beg, plead and request on bended knees: DON'T. At least, not until you've taken the trouble (and it truly doesn't take long) to establish the truth of it. If you're not sure of the verity of a posting - be it a virus warning, a setting on Facebook or whatever - then find somebody who will know. There are plenty of excellent sites - HoaxSlayer, FaceCrooks, Snopes and the rest - who will probably be able to help you out; and most of them have groups or pages on Facebook, so you can easily post a query there, and somebody will be able to help you.

Or find a passing friendly geek-queen. Like me. I don't bite.

1 comment: