Life, Love, Long Hair, Weeping and Gnashing of Teeth, and other mysteries

All this and more, from a semi-Serbian, slightly sane, former editor for physicians and surgeons, who is the mother of seven kids.

Friday, 28 September 2012

Facebook Private Messages on Timeline - SOLUTION

The recent rumors in the past week about Facebook private messages leaking out are true.

And I have a solution for you. 

Here is what I posted to my Facebook Timeline this morning:

Hey, this is "Steeny Lou" talking and not me copying and pasting some questionable info I saw somewhere else. I figured this out myself today. Read it, please, because privacy HAS INDEED been compromised by Facebook, and it may have happened to you, too. I saw it myself on my own Timeline and was pissed right off.

Seriously, snippets from an old PRIVATE conversation I'd had with one of my d
aughters, from Oct 12, 2010, showed up on my Timeline. I commented in my own thread and tagged my sister, as she and I had been discussing this whole rumor about private messages leaking out to our publicly viewable Timelines.


1. On the top right of your FB page, click the little drop-down arrow.
2. Click on "Privacy".
3. On "Timeline and Tagging", click "Edit Settings".
4. Click on "Who can see what others post on your Timeline?"
5. Click on the box to the right and click on "Custom".
6. Click the dropdown box and choose "Only Me".
7. Click "Save changes".
8. Click "Done". And then you're done - FOR NOW... just be wary of the next unannounced alterations in your privacy from those who "provide" us with this "free" service known as Facebook, and exercise caution in whatsoever you post anywhere on the internet. Big Bro is watchin'.

I tested out the solution by signing into another account, to see if the thread in question still showed up.  I couldn't see it, so I went back to my account and tested further by tagging my other account name.  I signed back into my other account, and the tag was not even received.

And now, a song about paranoia - but a little paranoia isn't such a bad thing:

 (Wow, Ozzy was so young once!)

Have you found any of your private messages showing up on YOUR wall?

Please share a link for this blog entry with everyone.  Our privacy should remain as our privacy.

If you'd like to read more of my writing, much can be found in the archives in the right-hand column of this blog.  Here are a few quick picks:


  1. Doesn't that block everyone from seeing any wall posts that friends write, though??

    1. From what I found, it only blocks stuff that others have posted to my wall/timeline, like if they post a video, picture, or comment. It doesn't block the replies to my status lines, pictures, videos, etc.

      It's not a perfect solution, but for now, it's all I can find that keeps the private messages from leaking out onto my wall.

  2. i havent seen anything like this happen to me or anyone i know.

    what we are doing when we go thru those options is not letting others see what is posted on our wall. this should have nothing to do with our private messages in the inbox. it almost seems as if you are confused between posting to a wall and posting to an inbox?
    i wouldnt be shocked if inbox messages started showing up, but i would think that it would be something they do to get your attention to a message by putting it in your feed; that doesnt mean other people could see it necessarily...

    i dont know. until it happens. we already should be living by the idea that if we dont want it getting around, dont write/text it! we shouldnt even be SAYING anything we dont want getting around. but either way, if its private, talk in person not thru fb or email. lol

    1. Ericka, like I said in my reply to the last commenter, it's not a perfect solution, but it works for now to keep my private messages private. I know the private messages were showing up as my sister could see them, too, and I could also see them from my other accounts. Then when I made my settings so only I could see things posted to my wall, they disappeared from my sister's sight as well as the sight of my other accounts.

      The stuff that showed up from my private messages was meant to be between my daughter and me. If that one blurb showed up, I didn't want to take a chance on other private blurbs showing up, including phone numbers or addresses.

      Sometimes talking in person is not possible, and with some people, such as some of my kids, they don't have an email other than FB. Perhaps that will change in future, given the lack of privacy FB has proven to have.


Talk to me - please.