Being one of the biggest social networks of the world that has around 1.15 billion users, it is not surprising to find Facebook involved in one privacy scandal after another. There are a lot of controversies regarding the security and privacy policies that Facebook has set for its users that are spread all over the globe. In the latest happenings, it has come to light that it is now impossible for users to hide their names in search. It is difficult to believe right now because every Facebook comment and social connection immediately surfaces once it has been made, but once upon a time, it was possible for users to hide themselves in search.
This means that they were basically invisible even when other Facebook members searched for them on the social network. They could be tagged in photos by friends and have normal profiles, but they wouldn’t show if other people looked them up by name on the social network. However, now Facebook has warned its users that in the next few weeks, this invisibility feature will be axed from the social networking website. It had been announced previously that the tool would be phased out. In fact, in December of last year, it had even removed it from the search settings of members that hadn’t opted for it.
In a blog post of the social network, it was mentioned that this feature would be eliminated for the small number of people that did use this particular security feature. The Help Center of Facebook shows that there are still considerable members, who still wish to take advantage of this old search setting. A number of people had asked for advice on how to hide from search and said that they wanted to be hidden because they were constantly bullied by others. Michael Richter, the chief privacy officer of Facebook had presented this change as one of the few features that would simplify its new search tool.
He said that some users became frustrated when they couldn’t locate friends on Facebook. Moreover, he justified this latest privacy change by citing the previous changes that had been made by the social network. He said that this feature had been introduced when there had been a limited number of users with simple profiles that could be easily opened by clicking on the name when it showed up in News Feeds of other users. Now, things have gotten much more complicated as the number of users has increased tenfold. He said that Graph Search made it easy for people to view anyone’s Timeline today.
Therefore, users should be more concerned about what they are sharing with others instead of how they can be found. Apart from that, he also provided the Facebook members with some instructions they can use for controlling the visibility of their content. No comment was made by a Facebook spokeswoman when asked about the percentage of users that use this hiding feature and will thus be affected by the change.