Data Use Policy → Sharing and finding you on Facebook

Sharing and finding you on Facebook

Control each time you post

Whenever you post content (like a status update, photo or check-in), you can select a specific audience, or even customize your audience.
To do this, simply click on the sharing icon and choose who can see it.
Choose this icon if you want to make something Public. Choosing to make something public is exactly what it sounds like. It means that anyone, including people off Facebook, will be able to see or access it.
Choose this icon if you want to share with your Facebook Friends.
Choose this icon if you want to Customize your audience. You can also use this to hide your story from specific people.
If you tag someone, that person and their friends can see your story no matter what audience you selected. The same is true when you approve a tag someone else adds to your story.
Always think before you post. Just like anything else you post on the web or send in an email, information you share on Facebook can be copied or re-shared by anyone who can see it.
Although you choose with whom you share, there may be ways for others to determine information about you. For example, if you hide your birthday so no one can see it on your timeline, but friends post "happy birthday!" on your timeline, people may determine your birthday.
When you comment on or "like" someone else's story, or write on their timeline, that person gets to select the audience. For example, if a friend posts a Public story and you comment on it, your comment will be Public. Often, you can see the audience someone selected for their story before you post a comment; however, the person who posted the story may later change their audience. So, if you comment on a story, and the story’s audience changes, the new audience can see your comment.
You can control who can see the Facebook Pages you've "liked" by visiting your timeline, clicking on the Likes box on your timeline, and then clicking "Edit."
Sometimes you will not see a sharing icon when you post something (like when you write on a Page's wall or comment on a news article that uses our comments plugin). This is because some types of stories are always public stories. As a general rule, you should assume that if you do not see a sharing icon, the information will be publicly available.

Control over your timeline

Whenever you add things to your timeline you can select a specific audience, or even customize your audience.

To do this, simply click on the sharing icon and choose who can see it.
Choose this icon if you want to make something Public. Choosing to make something public is exactly what it sounds like. It means that anyone, including people off Facebook, will be able to see or access it.
Choose this icon if you want to share with your Facebook Friends.
Choose this icon if you want to Customize your audience. You can also use this to hide the item on your timeline from specific people.
When you select an audience for your friend list, you are only controlling who can see the entire list of your friends on your timeline. We call this a timeline visibility control. This is because your friend list is always available to the games, applications and websites you use, and your friendships may be visible elsewhere (such as on your friends' timelines or in searches). For example, if you select "Only Me" as the audience for your friend list, but your friend sets her friend list to "Public," anyone will be able to see your connection on your friend's timeline.
Similarly, if you choose to hide your gender, it only hides it on your timeline. This is because we, just like the applications you and your friends use, need to use your gender to refer to you properly on the site.
When someone tags you in a story (such as a photo, status update or check-in), you can choose whether you want that story to appear on your timeline. You can either approve each story individually or approve all stories by your friends. If you approve a story and later change your mind, you can remove it from your timeline. Learn more about tagging.
When you hide things on your timeline, like posts or connections, it means those things will not appear on your timeline. But, remember, anyone in the audience of those posts or who can see a connection may still see it elsewhere, like on someone else's timeline or in search results. You can also delete your posts or change the audience of content you post, which means you can remove people from or add people to the audience of the content.
People on Facebook may be able to see mutual friends, even if they cannot see your entire list of friends.
Some things (like your name, profile pictures and cover photos) do not have sharing icons because they are always publicly available. As a general rule, you should assume that if you do not see a sharing icon, the information will be publicly available.

Finding you on Facebook

To make it easier for your friends to find you, we allow anyone with your contact information (such as email address or telephone number) to find you through the Facebook search bar at the top of most pages, as well as other tools we provide, such as contact importers - even if you have not shared your contact information with them on Facebook.
You can choose who can look up your timeline using the email address or telephone number you added to your timeline through your Privacy Settings. But remember that people can still find you or a link to your timeline on Facebook through other people and the things they share about you or through other posts, like if you are tagged in a friend's photo or post something to a public page.
Your settings do not control whether people can find you or a link to your timeline when they search for content they have permission to see, like a photo or other story in which you've been tagged.

Access on phones and other devices

Once you share information with your friends and others, they may be able to sync it with or access it via their mobile phones and other devices. For example, if you share a photo on Facebook, someone viewing that photo could save it using Facebook tools or by other methods offered by their device or browser. Similarly, if you share your contact information with someone or invite someone to an event, they may be able to use Facebook or third-party applications or devices to sync that information. Or, if one of your friends has a Facebook application on one of their devices, your information (such as the things you post or photos you share) may be stored on or accessed by their device.
You should only share information with people you trust because they will be able to save it or re-share it with others, including when they sync the information to a device.

Activity log

Your activity log is a place where you can go to view most of your information on Facebook, including things you've hidden from your timeline. You can use this log to manage your content. For example, you can do things like delete stories, change the audience of your stories or stop an application from publishing to your timeline on your behalf.
When you hide something from your timeline, you are not deleting it. This means that the story may be visible elsewhere, like in your friends' News Feed. If you want to delete a story you posted, choose the delete option.

What your friends and others share about you

Links and Tags
Anyone can add a link to a story. Links are references to something on the Internet; anything from a website to a Page or timeline on Facebook. For example, if you are writing a story, you might include a link to a blog you are referencing or a link to the blogger's Facebook timeline. If someone clicks on a link to another person's timeline, they'll only see the things that they are allowed to see.
A tag is a special type of link to someone's timeline that suggests that the tagged person add your story to their timeline. In cases where the tagged person isn't included in the audience of the story, it will add them so they can see it. Anyone can tag you in anything. Once you are tagged, you and your friends will be able to see it (such as in News Feed or in search).
You can choose whether a story you've been tagged in appears on your timeline. You can either approve each story individually or approve all stories by your friends. If you approve a story and later change your mind, you can always remove it from your timeline.
If you do not want someone to tag you, we encourage you to reach out to them and give them that feedback. If that does not work, you can block them. This will prevent them from tagging you going forward.
Social reporting is a way for people to quickly and easily ask for help from someone they trust. Learn more.
If you are linked to in a private space (such as a message or a group) only the people who can see the private space can see the link. Similarly, if you are linked to a comment, only the people who can see the comment can see the link.

Other information

As described in the "What your friends and others share about you" section of this policy, your friends and others may share information about you. They may share photos or other information about you and tag you in their posts. If you do not like a particular post, tell them or report the post.

Groups

Once you are in a Group, anyone in that Group can add you to a subgroup. When someone adds you to a Group, you will be listed as "invited" until you visit the Group. You can always leave a Group, which will prevent others from adding you to it again.

Pages

Facebook Pages are public pages. Companies use Pages to share information about their products. Celebrities use Pages to talk about their latest projects. And communities use Pages to discuss topics of interest, everything from baseball to the opera.
Because Pages are public, information you share with a Page is public information. This means, for example, that if you post a comment on a Page, that comment may be used by the Page owner off Facebook, and anyone can see it. Learn more.
When you "like" a Page, you create a connection to that Page. The connection is added to your timeline and your friends may see it in their News Feeds. You may be contacted by or receive updates from the Page, such as in your News Feed and your messages. You can remove the Pages you've "liked" through your timeline or on the Page.
Some Pages contain content that comes directly from the Page owner. Page owners can do this through online plugins, such as an iframe, and it works just like the games and other applications you use through Facebook. Because this content comes directly from the Page owner, that Page may be able to collect information about you, just like any website.
Page administrators may have access to insights data, which will tell them generally about the people that visit their Page (as opposed to information about specific people). They may also know when you've made a connection to their Page because you've liked their Page or posted a comment.
To control who can see the Facebook Pages you've liked, visit our Help Center.