Facebook to rip search opt-out from under those who were using it
Courtesy Casey Johnston, ArsTechnica
Here’s the dialog you’ll see if you were opted out of search, when Facebook gets around to opting you back in.
If you checked that box saying you don’t want to appear in Facebook search results, get ready: soon, that choice is going away. Facebook announced in a blog post Thursday that it’s removing the ability to opt out of appearing in search results, both for friends and globally, for those who’ve had it enabled.
Facebook actually removed the search opt-out for everyone who didn’t have it enabled early this year, around the time it introduced Graph Search. Now, ten months later, Facebook is giving the boot to anyone who actually cared enough to opt out, referring to the checkbox as an “old search setting.” Facebook claims that less than one percent of users were taking advantage of the feature.
In simpler times, Facebook was smaller and easier to navigate, and everyone had a privacy setting asking “Who can look up your timeline by name?” Now that there are so many profiles that users become confused when they know they have a friend or know someone in a group, but try to find them by search and they don’t appear, says Facebook.
The shifting sands of Facebook privacy settings have become increasingly unreliable; of course Facebook is not beholden to any of its users to protect them from much of anything, and anyone who doesn’t like what Facebook is doing can leave. ReadWrite has a good run-through of the privacy settings you may want to survey and tweak. While they still exist, that is.