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Facebook Fixes: How to prevent articles you have read online from showing up on your wall

March 4, 2012

You’ve probably seen a list of articles your friends have read showing up on your news feed.  Could be interesting to learn about a news story you hadn’t heard about.  Could reveal that your friend is fixated on the Kardashians. I posted how to stop seeing these news articles here:

List of news stories read by my friends

If you have clicked on one of the news stories from your news feed,  you were taken to a page that asked you to accept adding the reader application to your profile.  For example, if you clicked on a story from the Washington Post, you saw a pop-up box that looks like the one below.  This is the only opt-in for the app.  Notice on the left side, you have the option to set up who can see the stories posted to your wall by the Washington Post.  If you care who can review what stories you are reading, you might want to set this to “Only Me”.

If you clicked “Go to App”, you opted into the Washington Post Social Reader application. The next page will be the Washington Post website framed inside your Facebook page.

Did you know that you can click on “Cancel” when presented with the opt-in pop-up?  Clicking “Cancel” will take you to the article on the Washington Post website… and your friends won’t see that you read it.

Now let’s assume that you already opted into any of the reader apps. You can update what you allow the app to post to your wall.  Go to the top right corner of your Facebook page and click the down arrow. Select “Privacy Settings”.  Next to “Apps and Websites” click on “Edit Settings”. You will see a list of all the apps you have allowed to access your Facebook information.  Click on the one you want to update the settings for.  I am using the Washington Post Social Reader app as my example.

You have some options here.

You can remove the app – this deletes it and prevents it from accessing your data.

You can click the “x” for the “This app can also” item. This will prevent it from posting to your wall. The app still has access to  your personal data (that’s a whole other discussion).

If you hadn’t predefined who could see the wall posts when you enabled the app, you can do so now. Selecting “Only me” for “App activity privacy” will show the post only to you on your wall.

You can learn more here: Facebook Privacy Tip: How to Disable Sharing in Social Reader Apps. Some Facebook users are unintentionally broadcasting their reading habits to their network. Here’s how to find out if you’ve added one of these social reading apps and how to adjust your privacy settings.

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