Hoaxes & Rumors

The “Staying Privately Connected” Facebook Hoax Notification

The “Staying Privately Connected” Facebook Hoax Notification
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Did you or someone you know post a notice on Facebook so that you will stay “privately connected” with your friends? You may want to retract that post!

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2012 Version
A version of this notice spread on Facebook in late 2012 and read:

Hello, my FB friends: I want to stay PRIVATELY connected with you. I post shots of my family that I don’t want strangers to have access to!!! However, with the recent changes in FB, the “public” can now see activities in ANY wall. This happens when our friend hits “like” or “comment” ~ automatically, their friends would see our posts too. Unfortunately, we can not change this setting by ourselves because Facebook has configured it this way. PLEASE place your mouse over my name above (DO NOT CLICK), a window will appear, now move the mouse on “FRIENDS” (also without clicking), then down to “Settings”, click here and a list will appear. REMOVE the CHECK on “COMMENTS & LIKE” and also “PHOTOS”. By doing this, my activity among my friends and family will no longer become public. Now, copy and paste this on your wall. Once I see this posted on your page I will do the same. Thanks!

If your friends go through the steps above, what this actually does is hide you from their newsfeed. If you uncheck “Comments & Likes” for example, your friends will no longer see your comments and likes. It does not affect how the public sees you or your posts. Conversely, if you follow the steps above for a friend, you’ll see less of them in your newsfeed.

It is a hoax.

These steps do nothing to affect a person’s public posts, and will only disconnect you and your friends. In other words, you have just told all of your friends on Facebook to see less of you without affecting public posts. Certainly in some cases you may want to see less of some Facebook friends, but that’s not what this hoax is implying.

If you only want your friends – and only friends – to see your posts on Facebook, go into your Privacy Settings, and be sure to that it is set to “Friends” for who can see your posts. You can also “limit past posts” in this area as well. This is the only way to ensure that your posts are seen by your Facebook friends.

2013 Version
After Facebook implemented its “Graph” search, this hoax was modified to include that feature. A newer incarnation of the hoax reads:

Just so everyone on my friends list knows that I completed this and I am done! Facebook has changed their privacy settings once more!! Due to the new “graph app” anyone on facebook (including other countries ) can see your pictures, likes & comments. The next 2 weeks I will be posting this, and please once you have done it please post DONE!!! Those of you who do not keep my information from going… out to the public, I will have to DELETE YOU! I want to stay PRIVATELY connected with you. I post shots of family that I don’t want strangers to have access to! This happens when friends click “like” or “comment”….automatically, their friends would see our posts, too. Unfortunately, we cannot change this setting by ourselves because Facebook configured it that way. PLEASE place your mouse over my name above (DO NOT CLICK), a window will appear,now move the mouse on “FRIENDS” (also without clicking), then down to “settings”, click here and a list will appear. REMOVE the CHECK on “LIFE EVENTS and “COMMENTS & LIKES”. By doing this, my activity among my friends and family will no longer become public. Now, copy & paste this on your wall. Once i see this posted on your page, I will do the same. Thank You

We have seen two flourishes of this version in 2013, in May and in July.

Bottom Line
The only effect that following these steps will yield is to make you invisible from your friends. If you see someone posting this hoax, drop a link to this article in the comments to set them straight!

If you want to stay “privately connected” with a friend, try privately messaging them!

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Article updated July 12, 2013

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