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29th Nov 2016

Why you need to be careful when setting a Facebook post to ‘public’

Don't get caught out.

Tom Victor

Facebook’s privacy settings can be a minefield at the best of times.

Just when you think you’ve cracked it, you can realise – often with unforeseen consequences. It’s like making comments behind someone’s back only to discover they’ve been stood behind you the whole time.

You’ve probably worked one when to make things public and when to keep them as private as private can be.

So far, so simple.

But maybe you wanted to share an event with more people, or wanted to put a certain article out for all the world to see, prompting you to select ‘public’ from that drop-down menu.

fbPic via Facebook

What you might not have realised, however, is that when you set a single post to public then all future posts will also be set to public, regardless of what you have previously selected in your privacy settings.

Facebook have confirmed this in a blog post, explaining:

‘The tool remembers the audience you shared with the last time you posted something and uses the same audience when you share again unless you change it.

‘For example, if you choose Public for a post, your next post will also be Public unless you change the audience when you post.

‘This one tool appears in multiple places, such as your privacy shortcuts and privacy settings.

‘When you make a change to the audience selector tool in one place, the change updates the tool everywhere it appears.’

Of course, there is a way to fix it if you’ve ended up sharing that embarrassing article with your mum and dad: Facebook lets you change the settings on a post retroactively to change the audience settings. Of course, you might already be too late.

Catch up with this week’s episode of Football Friday Live