Facebook Removes Privacy Setting for User Search: Makes It Impossible To Hide

Source: Scott Olson/Getty Images News/Getty Images

No more stealthy sunglasses for Facebook users (including you, Mark Zuckerberg.) In its seemingly ever-changing suite of privacy settings, Facebook is removing the little option that prevents users, if they want, from showing up in search results. This makes looking up that guy from the bar last night much easier. The company removed the privacy feature last year for users who weren't taking advantage of it, and Facebook says that users who still wear virtual "invisibility cloaks" — meaning they can see what their friends are up to, but don't have their own page for others to visit — comprise only a "small percentage" of the Facebook population. Those who still have it will see a reminder pop up, like the one below.

 

The California-based company said in a blog post that they're removing the feature because it make Facebook search feel "a little broken" at times (it's okay, Facebook, we've all been there). Their focus groups apparently told them it was confusing when people they knew personally wouldn't appear in search results, especially since those people could still see their profiles.

Now, the only way users won't show up on a search is if the searcher has blocked them, if they Facebook under a different name (stealthy!), or if they don't actually have a Facebook page.

This is great news for when it comes to creeping on sexy strangers (c'mon, we all do it), but creates a lot of extra work to maintain one's privacy. To control what information is shared, users will need to adjust the privacy settings on individual posts. You can also hit up your privacy-setting page or Activity Log to tweak your audience for what you've shared in the past.

Facebook should really release a PSA for these things...

(Image via Facebook)

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