Facebook: No More Hiding From Searches

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Bad news, Facebook lurkers: The site won't let you stay out of search results anymore.

You can run, but you can’t hide from Facebook.

The site is disabling a privacy feature that allowed users the choice of not appearing in its search results, GigaOm says.

(Meanwhile, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg spent more than $30 million to ensure his own privacy. He bought the four properties surrounding his home, the San Jose Mercury News says. He reportedly wanted to thwart a developer trying to market property as being next to Zuckerberg.)

The option to enable the feature was removed late last year, GigaOm says, but until now people who had turned it on got to stay hidden when users tried to search for them by name. Now, Facebook is pulling back the curtain because it says the privacy feature “isn’t as useful as it was before.” Affected users will receive a notification at the top of the home page screen telling them that the feature has been permanently disabled.

In its announcement, Facebook explained how to use still-existing privacy settings to hide what you post, if not your presence on the site:

To further control what people see across the site:

1. Share each post with the people you want to be able to see it. You control this every time you post.

2. Use Activity Log to review individual things you’ve already shared. Here you can delete things you may not want to appear on Facebook anymore, untag photos and change the privacy of past posts.

3. Ask friends and others to remove anything they may have shared about you that you don’t want on the site. You can do this by reaching out to the person directly, or using the reporting feature, also available in Activity Log.

To get to Activity Log and other privacy tools, click [the lock icon] at the top of every page to use your privacy shortcuts.

You can read more about managing your privacy settings in our story, “Protect Your Privacy From Facebook’s New Feature.”

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