Help me learn how to use Facebook ...
February 6, 2015 4:59 AM   Subscribe

I've had a Facebook account for years and never used it. Now I'm getting messages via email that so-and-so has tagged me in a photo. So, uhm, what am I supposed to do?

It's mainly people I knew a while ago that are scanning their old photos. I go into their comment, and there's a link back to my profile (I think). Is the tag like a way of saying Hi, as I'll get the notification? Some of these are people I have not seen for decades and I have distant memories of them. I'm not sure if they are attempting to post something that will show up for me, or if FB is doing this automatically. Thanks!
posted by carter to Computers & Internet (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
The tag is a way to tell you "Hey, there's a picture of you that's searchable by your name and linked to your Facebook identity." Often, people will use these as a way of including you in the conversation about the photo, but most likely they're doing it because they're completists about their photos.

You don't have to do anything, if you don't mind that photo being linked to your FB identity. If you do, send the person a message saying "Thanks for thinking of me, but I really don't like being tagged in photos. Can you remove that?" They can include you in the caption without tagging you.
posted by Etrigan at 5:09 AM on February 6, 2015


You can decide whether or not you want to be tagged in the photo, it is something your friends are doing, not something facebook automatically does. "Tagged" means identified, with a link to your profile.

The photo will also show up on your profile page, and the profile of whoever else is tagged in the photo.

You can choose to un-tag yourself, and there is also the "hide from timeline" option so that you can remain tagged but the photo won't be on your timeline (but it will be elsewhere on facebook).
posted by lafemma at 5:09 AM on February 6, 2015 [2 favorites]


Yay! That was quick! I went away to make a cup of coffee, and came back to some answers!
posted by carter at 5:22 AM on February 6, 2015


There is also a preference somewhere that allows you to approve tags of you in photos before they become "live".
posted by Rock Steady at 5:44 AM on February 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


You can also manage how tags of you behave under "Settings" — "Timeline and Tagging." Options there include "Review posts friends tag you in before they appear on your timeline" (e.g., if someone tags you in a photo, you have to confirm before the photo appears on your timeline); "Who can see posts you've been tagged in on your timeline" (e.g., when someone tags a photo of you, who can see it on your timeline; but note if they could see the photo outside of your timeline, based on the settings of the original uploader, they will still be able to see it that way regardless of the setting you choose here); "When you're tagged in a post, who do you want to add to the audience if they aren't already in it" (e.g., when someone tags a photo of you, who can see it anywhere, such as in "Photos of You," in addition to anyone who could already see it based on the original uploader's privacy settings.)

The most conservative settings for these would be "On," "Only Me," and "Only Me," respectively, but AFAIK there's no way to prevent everyone else from tagging you in advance; the nearest you can do is prevent particular individuals from tagging you by blocking them, and by removing tags once they've been added. (And, as Etrigan suggests, going the social route by asking people not to tag you.)

If the latter two of the three settings above are both set to "Only Me," then no one who couldn't see the photo (or whatever) anyway, based on the original poster's privacy settings, will be able to see it; however, people who were technically able to see it before if they took the trouble of going to look for it might instead have their attention drawn to it, via it appearing in their news feeds, as a result of your being tagged in it.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 5:55 AM on February 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


If you do, send the person a message saying "Thanks for thinking of me, but I really don't like being tagged in photos. Can you remove that?" They can include you in the caption without tagging you

You don't need to do this. You can just click on the 'Options' under the photo itself and it'll give you the option of removing the tag.

Your friend won't be notified that the tag has been removed.
posted by Ziggy500 at 6:00 AM on February 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


Also, if you don't want to receive an email notification when someone tags you, you can change that under "Settings" — "Notifications" ("What You Get Notified About"/"Tags").
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 6:05 AM on February 6, 2015


The tag is a way to tell you "Hey, there's a picture of you that's searchable by your name and linked to your Facebook identity." Often, people will use these as a way of including you in the conversation about the photo, but most likely they're doing it because they're completists about their photos.

It's also sometimes a mistake. They type in @ and the first letter of your name/someone else's name, and mistakenly click on you instead of the other person. This happens to me a lot, on FB and other platforms. (Maybe J is a popular name-starting letter?) Anyway, as stated above, you can just un-tag yourself.
posted by DestinationUnknown at 6:56 AM on February 6, 2015


It's also sometimes a mistake.

Very true. See for example, Grandpa and Grandmaster Flash
posted by Rock Steady at 7:33 AM on February 6, 2015 [5 favorites]


Thanks again everybody! It seems pretty straightforward, as long as you don't mind what other people are posting and don't want to manage anything. Okay, here goes ..
posted by carter at 11:02 AM on February 6, 2015


When I had a Facebook account, I a) turned off email updates, because I don't need that shit filling my inbox b) Set Facebook so I had to approve any tags before they appeared. So if someone tagged me in an unflattering picture that I don't want connected to my profile, I would just opt to reject the tag. It gives you some control over your Facebook identity -- but Facebook is an unwieldy mess, especially if you care about privacy, which is why I left. (Since I turned off email updates, I would just see the tags awaiting approval whenever I logged in.)

As for whether it's automatic or not, Facebook does have facial recognition technology and Facebook will automatically tag you in photos people upload unless you tell Facebook to stop doing that. (I definitely did not let Facebook auto-tag me.) But I am not sure it would be doing this with old photos. If you catch a friend or two doing it, they may be wanting to tag you since you are new to Facebook and they want you to see the old photos. If you notice like 20 friends doing it, then I am going to guess Facebook added this feature to include old photos as well.
posted by AppleTurnover at 4:10 PM on February 6, 2015


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