Facebook Removing the Option to Hide Your Name from Search Results

Picture of Facebook website taken from a computer monitor

Screenshot of option on Facebook to hide your name from search results

If you’re one who likes to stay hidden from strangers on Facebook, things are about to get a little complicated for you on the network. Facebook has announced that it will soon remove the option to hide your name from search results within the site.

The older setting, called “Who can look up your Timeline by name?”, allows users to choose whether they can be found when people search for their name within Facebook. Facebook first announced last year that the setting would eventually be removed, and disabled it for those that hadn’t been using it. Now Facebook is reminding what it calls the “small percentage” of users who have held onto their privacy that the setting will soon disappear. This means that soon every user’s profile will appear in relevant searches within Facebook.

Facebook’s reminder to users who hide their names from search results will look like this:

Option to remove visibility in Facebook search is being taken away, screenshot


Improving Graph Search

Picture of Facebook website taken from a computer monitorThis change comes as Facebook ramps up Graph Search, a search engine that allows you to search people on Facebook with defined attributes such as “People who live in Chicago and like Miley Cyrus.” Revealing all users’ name in Graph Search will give Facebook a larger pool of users to pull from when compiling results for Graph Search. The change will also remove glitches that have long plagued the network as well as make it easier for users to find their friends on Facebook. Michael Richter, Facebook’s chief privacy officer, wrote in a blog post:

The setting was created when Facebook was a simple directory of profiles and it was very limited. For example, it didn’t prevent people from navigating to your Timeline by clicking your name in a story in News Feed, or from a mutual friend’s Timeline. Today, people can also search Facebook using Graph Search (for example, “People who live in Seattle,”) making it even more important to control the privacy of the things you share rather than how people get to your Timeline.”


Privacy on Facebook

With Graph Search gaining steam and every user’s profile discoverable in search results, it’s more important now than ever to ensure the information you make available on Facebook is only visible to those you want to access that information. You can select exactly who can see your pictures, status updates, and profile information by selecting the publicity settings of each item. Learn more about privacy settings on Facebook.

Are you part of the small percentage of users who hide their names from search results on Facebook? If so, how do you plan to cope with this change?

Featured image via West McGowan

Lauren Mobertz

By Lauren Mobertz

Lauren is the former managing editor for DashBurst. One part geek, one part urban nomad, she is constantly scouting for the latest tech and world news. In the evenings you'll find Lauren running in strange places or attempting to dance salsa.

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