Can you hide friends from one another on FacebooK?
October 21, 2015 6:21 PM   Subscribe

I have friends from various parts of my life that I don't want to 'mix'. I don't like that facebook makes it easy for friends of a person to find one another.

The people I hang out with at a biker joint can seriously cramp the impression I make on my corporate buddies (and thereby seriously affect career prospects). It's a shame, but that's how the world works. Is there a way I can still have all my fb friends without any of them knowing who my other friends are?
posted by manderin to Computers & Internet (11 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
This is why people maintain multiple facebook profiles.
posted by 256 at 6:26 PM on October 21, 2015 [6 favorites]

The fact that Google+ can do this was supposed to be one of its Facebook killing apps.
posted by irisclara at 6:29 PM on October 21, 2015

If I had this problem I would create a lists and using these lists divide people into categories. The use these lists to hide your fiends lists - so neither group or noone sees them.

When you do status updates then restrict the updates to include and exclude specific lists.

OR you can hide your friends list and create groups for a subsection of your friends
posted by nassep at 6:34 PM on October 21, 2015 [2 favorites]

i use different social media for different friend groups that i don't want mixing. if i don't want my uncle to comment on their picture, i don't follow them on facebook.
posted by nadawi at 6:35 PM on October 21, 2015 [5 favorites]

1. Configure your profile so that your friends list isn't displayed, or only mutual friends with the person viewing your profile appear.

2. Use friend lists and pay attention to the permissions on your posts. You can make it so that posts only appear to people in that friend list, can only be liked/commented by people in that friend group, etc.

Now, FB permissions are such that there may be leaks, but I'm guessing you've had a few of those already, so the process of weeding out will just look like fewer of those posts to people not in the group.
posted by rhizome at 7:09 PM on October 21, 2015 [2 favorites]

Yeah, just create different accounts. Otherwise there will probably be some overlap, no matter how careful you try to be. Even with multiple accounts you may well screw up at some point and post stuff when you're signed into the wrong account.

As a trans person you get used to juggling multiple selves online like this, and it's frustrating how a lot of social media companies really really want everything to be all linked up with ONE USER NAME forever. Wanting any degree of anonymity seems to make them very fussy indeed and they will keep trying to force you to pick one ID (ideally with a nice big photo and a profile saying where you went to school, where you work and what you last purchased on Amazon). I guess the trolls have kind of ruined it for us all. Anyway, that's a rant for another day. Just start two different accounts and try to keep 'em separate.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 7:48 PM on October 21, 2015 [2 favorites]

As someone pointed out in another thread, use a different email address for each account so corporate types can't find you by searching on email address.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 8:35 PM on October 21, 2015 [1 favorite]

No matter how you try to do this, there will be leakage. You're never going to make all your friends follow your rules. They will tag you in public posts. Even if you create multiple accounts, they'll publicly mention you by name. Just don't post anything on Facebook that you'd be mortified if all your friends saw it.
posted by John Cohen at 10:47 PM on October 21, 2015 [1 favorite]

Even with separate emails there will be leakage. I've had professional friends pop up on my "do you know so and so" prompts and I'm crazy careful.
posted by tilde at 4:14 AM on October 22, 2015 [1 favorite]

No matter how you try to do this, there will be leakage. You're never going to make all your friends follow your rules. They will tag you in public posts. Posted by John Cohen and Quoted for Truth.

I just heard a story today about someone's relative who tried to hide his wife from a lot of his facebook activity. One of wife's friends saw the posts about the threesome and the strip club. They are now in the process of divorcing.

Moral: you may think they are hidden from each other, but as someone who works with people who hang out at the local biker bar, it's not a perfect system and the chance of overlap is pretty high.
posted by CathyG at 1:55 PM on October 22, 2015 [2 favorites]

If the likelihood is as low as you can manage to engineer it to be, but the risk is still too high, you'll regret it.

Envision the absolute worst case if the circles overlap. Can you survive it? Will it devastate you or others?

I say don't try it.... as soon as you feel like you have it locked down, FB will change their "privacy" settings and eff it all up.

Nothing is ever secure.
posted by I_Love_Bananas at 8:10 AM on October 23, 2015 [1 favorite]

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