I see plenty of controversial FB status updates – politics, religion and swearing in no particular order. But what has been bugging me lately? The little one-liners telling me who is reading what. Because every friend I have contacted so far to give a heads up did not realize it was happening to them. And they didn’t like it much either. Most of us would find it hard to even describe a News Reader App – here is how they show up in your news feed and ticker:
These two did not expect us all to see their veg-out gossip reading
This one does not expect co-workers to see his political perusings.
Facebook calls it frictionless sharing. I call it friction-generating. People deserve more privacy than all their friends seeing all their political, religious and scandal-sheet reading. They did not click on a like button for us to see this. Having signed up for a news reader App, they need only click on an article link and we all get to see it in the news ticker. Even an accidental click. They don’t even need to be on Facebook at the time.
Most people barely realized they were signing up for the Apps, let alone the privacy-invasion sharing every article they ever click on – even accidentally. Every time they read a news article online, their activity is automatically shared with friends. Not so nice!
Not all news applications do this: WSJ and New York Times are fine. Yahoo, Washington Post Social Reader and the Guardian are the biggest offenders I am seeing.
You can check if you have these apps installed:
Click at the top right of any Facebook page and choose Account Settings.
From the menu in the left column, select Apps.
Remove the App or tighten your privacy settings:
Remove using the ‘x’
‘Edit’. Click on ‘Custom’ next to ‘App activity privacy’, then ‘Custom’ again. Set it to ‘Only Me’
If your own Apps are locked down but you are fed up of getting updates on what your friends are reading?
Search for the App and click ‘Block application’ on the left.
If this helped you, please let me know in a comment and please take a conscious decision to share it onwards. If you just love having your every reading displayed to all, I’d also like to hear from you!