Facebook Privacy and Security Settings: Timeline and Tagging Settings

If you haven’t done so, please read the previous article Facebook Privacy and Security Settings: Privacy Settings and Tools

Now, on to the Timeline and Tagging Settings…

How people might "see" you on Facebook

People you aren’t Friends with may still see stories about you when:

  • They are posted to your Timeline
  • They are posted to your Friends’ Timelines
  • They appear in the News Feed of Friends of Friends

For illustration purposes, we’ll go back to our imaginary four people from the previous article, Cersei, Joffery, Sandor and Rob. Cersei and Joffery are Friends, and Joffery and Sandor are Friends. This makes Cersei and Sandor Friends of Friends to each other. No one is friends with Rob (don’t worry, Rob has lots of friends, just not the other three in the picture). This means Rob is considered Public to the other three and the other three are considered Public to Rob.

Facebook connections

All set? Here we go!

NOTE: You can click on the screen grabs to get a larger view. They will open in a new window or tab, simply close the new window or tab to return to the article rather than hitting the Back button on your browser.

Getting Started

  1. Go to your timeline (click on your name in the blue bar at the very top)
  2. Click "Privacy shortcuts" (the little padlock icon)
  3. From the bottom of the list, click "See More Settings"
Finding Your Facebook Settings

Timeline and Tagging Settings

From the left-hand menu, click "Timeline and Tagging"

Who can add things to my timeline?

Who can post on your timeline?

You can prevent others from posting directly on your Timeline by changing this setting to "Only me", otherwise, Friends will be able to post messages and pictures to your Timeline as well. Friends of Friends and Public individuals can never post directly to your Timeline.

Review posts friends tag you in before they appear on your timeline?

Wait, you mean if a Friend tags me in a post that’s not even posted to my Timeline, it will still show up on my Timeline? CORRECT! Facebook is helpful that way, it assumes you and all your Friends will want to see anything you are tagged in so it posts all stories in which you are tagged to your Timeline without asking you.

For instance, if Cersei makes a post on her own Timeline and tags Joffery in it, it will post to Joffery’s Timeline as well, allowing Sandor to see it whether Joffery wants him to or not (and Cersei has no say in the matter either).

Um… I don’t like that! Not many people do, so here’s what you can do: change the setting to "Enabled" and you will be notified when Facebook tries to put these posts on your Timeline. You can then accept or reject the post. This means everytime you login to Facebook you may be faced with a slew of pending Timeline posts, but the alternative is to let Facebook post anything you’re tagged in to your Timeline automatically.

Timeline and Tagging: Review Timeline posts I'm tagged in?

Now, just because it’s posted to your Timeline doesn’t mean anyone can see it. The next settings control who sees stuff posted to your Timeline regardless of how it gets there.

Who can see things on my timeline?

Review what other people see on your Timeline

We’ll cover "View as" later

Who can see posts you’ve been tagged in on your timeline?

If you’ve been tagged in a post and it ends up on your Timeline, this setting will determine who can see it on your Timeline. The options are the same as those covered in the previous article under Privacy Settings > Who can see your future posts?

Timeline and Tagging: Who can see posts I'm tagged in?

Who can see what others post on your timeline?

If you allow Friends to post directly to your Timeline and you are not tagged in the post (posts you are tagged in are covered with the previous setting), this setting controls who can see those posts. For example, your friend finds an amazing video of a cat playing chopsticks on a piano with chopsticks on YouTube and posts the link to your Timeline but doesn’t tag you in the post. These setting control who would see that post. The options are the same as those covered in previous setting options.

Timeline and Tagging: Who can see posts on my Timeline?

How can I manage tags people add and tagging suggestions?

Review tags people add to your own posts before the tags appear on Facebook?

If this is disabled, Friends can add tags to your content (posts, pictures, etc.) without your permission. If this is enabled, you will have to approve tags that Friends try to add to your content. Once a tag has been approved (by this setting being disabled or by you approving a tag), even if you are not Friends with the person tagged, that person will be able to see the post. His/her Friends may then also be able to see this content (see the "Friends of those tagged checkbox" section from the previous article). If someone you are not Friends with tries to tag people in your content, you will always be asked to approve the tag regardless of this setting.

For example, Cersei adds a post that only her friends can see. If this setting is disabled, Joffery could tag Sandor in the picture and then Sandor would be able to see it. If Cersei allows Friends of those tagged to see her posts, Sandor’s Friends will be able to see the post as well. If this setting is Enabled, Joffery’s tag would have to first be approved by Cersei before it went "live" on Facebook. If Cersei does approve it, the same settings apply as previously described. If Rob tries to tag someone in the post, Cersei will always have to approve the tag before it would be posted on Facebook even if this setting is Disabled. If Cersei does approve it, the same settings apply as previously described.

Timeline and Tagging: Review tags people add?

When you’re tagged in a post, who do you want to add to the audience if they aren’t already in it?

When someone tags you in a post, who do you want to be able to see it? That what this setting is for. The options are the same as those described in earlier setting options. So if Cersei tags Joffery in a post, it’s up to Joffery who else gets to see the post.

These settings may conflict with other settings. Imagine Cersei has her "Who can see my stuff?" settings set to "Only friends"; then she tags Joffery (who is her friend) in a post. Now, Joffery has his settings in this section to "Friends of friends". You would think Sandor would then be able to see this post. But, because Cersei and Sandor are not friends and Cersei’s settings are stricter, they prevent Sandor from seeing the post.

Timeline and Tagging: Who do you want to add to the audience?

Who sees tag suggestions when photos that look like you are uploaded?

Facebook in the US uses facial recognition software. Um… what?!! Yup, if someone tags you in a picture, Facebook can go and scan all their pictures and look for more photos of you and suggest they tag you in those photos as well—yikes! Fortunately, if you live outside the US, you will see "Unavailable" and you don’t have to worry about it. If you do live in the US, I would put this setting on "super-double-looper-lock-down" (in other words "Only me").

So you can see how, although these are not called "Privacy" settings, they certainly affect your privacy.

Did you find this helpful? Is there something you’d like to see covered that isn’t here? Did I make a mistake or give bad information? Let me know in the comments below, feedback is appreciated!

Next article: Manage blocking

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