I never want to be seen online in Facebook
December 27, 2010 8:37 AM   Subscribe

Why can't I stay offline in Facebook chat anymore? Or, if I can stay offline, how?

I hate chat - I mean, I really really hate it. I never want anyone ever to interrupt what I'm doing with a "hey - how's it going" type of conversation.

For years I've been "offline" in the Facebook chat app. But this week all of a sudden it will not allow me to stay offline anymore. I can click on my chat list and choose "offline" in the options, but if I click around a little or close the browser and open it again I will be back online again.

This is not acceptable to me. My question: Does this represent a change in policy for FB? Or is there just a new setting somewhere (as there always seems to be) that I'm unaware of that would get me offline for good.

If it matters: MacBook Pro, Chrome.
posted by crapples to Technology (15 answers total)
I am able to stay offline on Facebook and can toggle it on and off fine. I am using Safari on Snow Leopard.

Have you tried a different browser, and clearing your cache/cookies in Chrome?
posted by Hates_ at 8:41 AM on December 27, 2010

I can also stay offline and have just poked around FB's settings and can't find anything like "stay offline by default" or whatever. Seconding clearing your cachhe & cookies.
posted by ClarissaWAM at 8:52 AM on December 27, 2010

I'm offline with Chrome on a MacBook Pro, so FWIW, the computer and browser aren't necessarily your problem.

Have you switched to the "new profile" (or whatever Facebook is calling it)? That could be relevant information.
posted by J. Wilson at 8:52 AM on December 27, 2010

Response by poster: I am on the new profile. I deleted cookies and cache in chrome and the problem persisted. I tried it in Safari and the problem still persists.

Is it the new profile?
posted by crapples at 8:58 AM on December 27, 2010

I am also on the new profile, using Firefox and a MacBook. I'm signed off by default as usual, without having to do anything new.
posted by Sara C. at 9:00 AM on December 27, 2010

Best answer: OS X using Chrome at work, Windows 7 using Chrome at home. Stay signed out just fine on both.

I'd make sure you don't have a rogue browser window open somewhere. Maybe a chat application (like Meebo on your phone?) trying to sign into chat. If you sign into fb chat from anywhere it'll sign you in when you log in to the website.
posted by toomuchpete at 9:02 AM on December 27, 2010

I have the new profile, A MBP running 10.6, and Chrome 8. I was just able to go offline, and stay offline after closing/reopening Facebook, as well as after closing/reopening Chrome. So it is doable, in theory.
posted by misterbrandt at 9:04 AM on December 27, 2010

Response by poster: Good point toomuchpete: Could my Droid be doing this? They recently added chat to their facebook app - right around when I started having this problem now that I think of it.

I'll kill the droid and see if the problem continues.
posted by crapples at 9:04 AM on December 27, 2010

Best answer: Do you by chance use the Facebook app on an Android phone? A recent update added chat to the app and (I think) turned it on by default. If you have it installed, open the Facebook app, choose "Chat" from the main menu, press the menu buttton, and select "Go Offline." You should stay offline unless you go back to the chat screen for some reason.
posted by indyz at 9:09 AM on December 27, 2010

Response by poster: Killed the droid and now I'm offline and staying offline. Thanks for the help. Now I have a new problem: Figuring out how to keep my droid from screwing up my desktop FB profile. But that's for another day.

posted by crapples at 9:14 AM on December 27, 2010

Response by poster: Thanks indyz - I'll give that a shot on the droid. I really appreciate the help.
posted by crapples at 9:15 AM on December 27, 2010

I've too have been constantly offline by default until very recently when I got to sorting friends in to groups.

The one person who has issues with other IM / chat programs is in their own group, which I can activate when I feel like being 'available'. Another group consists of a couple of folk who also don't use chat, this stays online - with no one available of course. Everyone else is in a third group that is not only offline, but hidden from chat to avoid accidental activation.

This way facebook apps seem to be happy that chat is active, but no one can reach me except on my terms.

I suspect though that going offline in your Android app will solve your probelm, but thought I share anyway in case this method is of use to anyone.
posted by dirm at 9:27 AM on December 27, 2010

Response by poster: Went offline on the droid (I didn't even know I was online on the droid) and now everything is back to normal. Fantastic! I never would have thought of that.

Thanks folks. I would have had to deactivate FB if that would have continued because I really just can't go for the whole chat thing.

Another problem solved. Thanks again.
posted by crapples at 9:39 AM on December 27, 2010

It sounds like your problem is solved, but another way to never see chat (Firefox/Windows) is to use the "https everywhere" add on from EFF or some other way to force the https access. The https version of Facebook disables chat.
posted by gingerbeer at 11:03 AM on December 27, 2010

The https version of Facebook disables chat.

That's only a temporary solution, until FB moves chat to HTTPS. Not something you can count on for the long run.
posted by scalefree at 4:34 PM on December 27, 2010

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