back to article Facebook forces users to expose or remove connections

Facebook is asking users to link to education, work, location, employer and likes pages, with connections made public by default. Profile owners who baulk at exposing their affiliations will find the relevant data removed their profile if they refuse to add links. The social networking site began greeting users with the forced …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Stalkers paradise

    Yeah, I noticed this. Evidently no-one at Facebook comprehends there might well exist people who, though happy for their screened circle of friends to know where they work, are more reluctant to announce it to the entire rest of the planet.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's simple

    Dont put anything on facebook.

    I don't

  3. Anonymous Coward

    you are free

    to do as we tell you.

  4. Robert Ramsay

    maybe what they are doing..

    is trying to force people to create two profiles, one for work where all is clean and jolly, and a second pseudynomous one where they can freely admit to their liking for BDSM and Chris deBurgh...

    1. Elmer Phud Silver badge

      'and '?

      Apart from Facebook not 'allowing' multiple identities - as if no-one does it - I think that the Hobbit comes under S&M - unless you're bering kind to the B&D people.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    One simple solution... all Facebook's problems - most of which are deliberate policy until someone blows the whistle.

    Lose it. Really is that simple.

    Mr Zuckerberg is never sorry about anything other than being caught.

  6. Nikola

    A bit of old news?

    Errr, actually, in our neck of the woods at least (Canada), this rolled out about two weeks ago... in fact it's part of the big world-wide hoopla you guys have reported on about FaceBook privacy, and large part of what caused the conference last week...

  7. DJ 2

    Old news

    This happend a few weeks ago, everything was converted and you were presented a page to choose the links.

    My profile now has no information about me at all.

    1. Stephen Roberts 2

      Not old news

      Actually this happened for the first time to me today, and I use Facebook daily. Clearly Facebook are not forcing this on everyone at the same time, and for some this will be new news.

  8. Neil 23

    I know there's supposed to be no such thing as bad pubilicity

    But this is getting silly now. Why the hell would I want to link my profile to a page I have no control over?

  9. Daniel 1

    Zuckerberg wants to be Steve Jobs, so much, it actually hurts to watch

    I love the way the BBC and others keep calling it a "Social network giant", as well.

    This must be one of those big, inflatable plastic giants with a bewildered man inside them, like they used to have on "It's a Knockout"... I want to be in the team that throws damp sponges at him, and makes him slide into the water.

  10. Ad Fundum


    Just tried to remove all my interests etc, because I don't want all this information paraded about and links made to other groups etc. It's a proper f*cking farce - I've removed all the info I can twice and facebook just keeps putting it back.

  11. Code Monkey

    I'm actually disappointed I deleted mine

    Shame. I'd have loved to have watched this shitstorm from up close. Ah well I'll get over it.

  12. envmod


    facebook should be renamed facepalm.

  13. solarian

    Bye then

    That is definitely the last straw.

  14. Number6

    Don't publish it

    I have the bare minimum information on my Facebook profile. It's probably enough for friends to identify me from others with the same name, but no more. Even the birthday isn't the correct one - I have an 'internet birthday' I use for sites that insist on one being provided. On that basis I don't think there's much for them to remove from my profile.

  15. Anonymous Coward


    El Reg: Thanks for the reminder, I'd been meaning to delete most of my profile for a while now.

    Facebook: Seriously guys, you really are trying to commit suicide?

    1. It's your site, I'm a guest, I know that

    2. You can rearrange it and redesign it as much as you like, I've always got the option of leaving

    3. I don't mind this convert-to-links stuff in my profile

    4. By all means, make it compulsory for profile info, it's your site

    5. But you can go f*** yourselves if you think I'm happy with you doing that WITHOUT ASKING. I wouldn't even mind if it was a compulsory "convert this lot to links or delete them" question, I'd at least get asked. But you didn't bother, you just put another nail in your coffin.

    <sigh> Oh well, over to the next interwebs networking site. Where did I leave that lolcat?

  16. Anonymous Coward

    Facebook gets worse...

    This is exactly why I deleted my account. Of course, I say "deleted". Facebook don't actually allow you to do that (oh no). You can suspend it, but it never actually gets deleted.

    I also love the term he used, "dumb f****ers for trusting" him apparently?

    Yeah. Bye bye FB. I'll go back to the dark ages of texting, emails and -wait - actually ringing someone up.

    1. blackworx

      You can delete


  17. Parsifal

    Bye Bye Facebook

    If they're trying to force people to use other social networks they're succeeding, however if anyone at Facebook thinks this is going to anything but reduce its number of members they're living in the same fantasy land as Steve Jobs.

  18. Ned Fowden

    it's simple enough

    to create a group within your connections and add these to them, each connection group you make can have its own specified levels of access from blocked to full.

    I have various settings for family, friends, work colleagues and groups/pages, it's easy to set up and control who gets to see what.

    1. Deb Swinney
      Thumb Down

      Not for pages

      You can do the groups thing with most of the site, but not Pages you like, which are always public. No option. What FB just did was convert your employer, school, music, TV and movies to Pages, making public. The only option was to remove them all from your profile.

    2. Anonymous Coward

      ... if you are not stupid!

      Most people are:

      1) too stupid too do that (see half of the other pos(t)ers) and;

      2) FB keeps on changing the way it is defined which catches the half stupid as well (the other pos(t)ers)

  19. heyrick Silver badge

    I've just signed up to Facebook...

    ...because many of the people I work with are on Facebook. It an be a useful way of keeping in touch. But my main problem with Facebook is it is trying to be too smart. I wanted to put my location as "Brittany, France" and it didn't want to accept that as a real place. Like hell I'm going to put in my exact town. So I left it blank. Which, to be honest, is how I will leave a lot of the requested information. I don't need to use Facebook, I've written my own basic blog scripts, it is a flexible system that works for me. As for privacy? When you run your own site, it is easy to drop in weird paths (like /hentai/arigatogozaimasu/epic/fail.php that probably won't be guessed randomly!) to leave stuff for people. And you can .htaccess or PHP some sort of access control, as opposed to... a combination of user dopeyness coupled with a pathalogical desire to get users to share everything with world+kitten whether they want to or not. Simple answer - don't post anything of importance!

    Amusing byline and gratuitous dig at Facebook and the things FB users get up to: :-)

  20. Rob
    Paris Hilton


    I just logged in and got the screen everyone mentioned, asking to associate my profile with fan pages about "stuff", "lots of things" and "various". I think it's a good feature, I've been lookign for people with similiar interests in stuff and various has always been a long time hobby of mine.

    (Even though I don't populate those fields with anything serious, I've still gone into the privacy settings and scaled them back to friends only)

    Paris 'cause she knows lots of things about various stuff so we have a lot in common.

  21. Elmer Phud Silver badge

    Tick or Untick?

    "Allow select partners to instantly personalise their features with my public information when I first arrive on their websites."

    Not automatically ticked for me - not that there's a great deal of info available due to not puttng much info there in the first place.

    But trying to work out what the options actually do is not that easy - plain English it ain't.

    It's certainly written to make you feel as if you might be missing out on things if you don't let the world know all about you, and your family, and your friends, and your 'friends', and your 'surveys', and your 'gifts' and your games and your chat and . . .

    Who needs a bloody ID card these days - just Facebook the buggers.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Old news, sort of.

    They did this a couple of weeks ago in the UK. I responded, like many others, by simply removing all the data completely.

    Where it's new news is it seems they're actually stupid enough to keep doing it, on the eve of announcing allegedly new improved privacy controls - and subsequent to a rather pathetic public apology for having done what they're still doing today in the first place.

  23. Chris King Silver badge

    Clueless. Utterly and completely clueless.

    I can only think of two words to describe this latest update: EPIC FAIL.

    Forcing me to expose yet more information ? Strike One.

    Opening up my privacy settings YET AGAIN without asking me ? Strike Two.

    (Check out "Privacy settings > Friends, tags and connections" after you get that dialog box)

    Forcing me on to a page where the only clickable option is "Log Out" when I refuse to play ball ? Strike Three, you lose.

    There wasn't much information on my profile to begin with, and some of it (like my birthday) was fake anyway. There's even less up there now.

    If that's not scary enough for you, read this:

    Facebook kept awfully quiet about the change that allows 3rd-party app developers to retain your information indefinitely !

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother

    Horrible Facebook Inc. treats their 500 million Most Valued Dumb F*ckers.

    Good companies don't treat their Dumb F*ckers like this. They do Dumb F*ckers surveys, listen to Dumb F*ckers, have Dum F*ckers retention programs, organize Dumb F*ckers conferences. In short, they give their Dumb F*ckers are warm and fuzzy feeling.

    Mr Zuckerberg has a lot to learn how to treat his 500 million Dumb F*ckers positively.


    Ex-Dumb F*cker

    Bitmap of a Dumb F*cker with a moustache.

  25. Electric Panda

    I got it weeks ago...

    and I've now left my profile blank. All you can do with me on Facebook is write on my wall, comment on my statuses or send me a message. If I get tagged in a photo, I untag it nearly immediately.

    Facebook is also incredibly buggy; on the first day I was presented with this new setup, about two weeks ago, it was incredibly slow when I clicked the removal links. Then, as a final middle finger, everything I took ages to delete magically reappeared within about ten minutes.

    If only I can wean my friends off it and get them to discover alternative means of communication - when I've achieved that, I'm deleting my FB account. In fact, I did so last year but re-created it due to peer pressure and their inability to contact me in any other way (seriously, I have four e-mail addresses, two phone numbers and most of my friends know where my house is. "Not being able to contact" me is zero excuse)

    Zuckerberg's blasé and cavalier attitude towards privacy is doing him absolutely no favours. Lucky for him he's stalled on floating Facebook on the stock markets because the share price would nosedive vertically due to stuff like this. I even heard a rumour that the Facebook board want rid of him to protect the reputation of the brand and, if true, Zuckerberg could be forced out by Christmas - if he carries on like this and things get worse, I can easily see that happening.

  26. Chris Hatfield

    Stalkers' Paradise!

    I think Zuckerburg might have been right when he described users as 'dumb fucks'

  27. Fihart

    Yup, they've deleted all my interests, hobbies

    I got this weird notice a week or so ago suggesting I might like to associate with other websites or something and offering the option to select those I didn't want to share with.

    When I tried to untick one, another I'd already unticked would be ticked again. I assumed it was some sort of hoax and closed the page.

    Same notice appeared today, I again exited. I then read your piece. Just gone back, the bastards have wiped all the stuff I put in my interests and hobbies. Why ? And why didn't they mention this ?

    Frankly I don't care because it was already freaking me out getting targeted by ads relevant to the interests I'd listed. Clearly they had already published info about me to advertisers.

    Facebook is over.

  28. Laie Techie

    Facebook for co-workers?

    I limit Facebook to friends and family; Colleagues can connect to my LinkedIn profile. My boss and co-workers don't need to see photos from my vaction or know which tv shows I follow. LinkedIn is much more business / profession oriented. My LinkedIn account has an up-to-date resume and list of activities related to my career.

  29. Eddy Ito Silver badge


    FB and Web2.0rhea, social network transmitted diseases.

  30. Camilla Smythe


    "Facebook is asking users to link to education, work, location, employer and likes pages, with connections made public by default.

    Profile owners who baulk at exposing their affiliations will find the relevant data removed their profile if they refuse to add links."


    AHEM FaceBook...

    Has noticed that people are using the site for the purposes of business/employment networking deviancy and wishes to become LinkedIn.

  31. Lou 2
    Gates Horns

    Its all about the Money HahUM!!!

    Facebook wants to find ways to monetize all the idiots posting on it. This is it!!!

  32. robert cooke
    Thumb Up

    my favourite mail from facebook

    Hi Robert,<br/><br/>We have received a request to permanently delete your account. Your account has been deactivated from the site and will be permanently deleted within 14 days. <br/><br/>If you did not request to permanently delete your account, follow this link to cancel this

  33. Anonymous Coward


    On Farcebook, they are called "Dumb F*ckers". Please remember that for any further posting. "Dumb F*ckers", not simple "idiots".

  34. Anonymous Coward

    The Hive-Mind

    Hey all you FaceBook robots!

    Swarm + Obey = Group Think

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