Pandora's box
January 16, 2008 12:41 PM   Subscribe

Oh, Christ. I just clicked on someone's profile on Facebook. I really don't want them to know I found them there. If it's an open profile, meaning a relative stranger could find it and open it with no restrictions, will this person get any kind of notification that I viewed it?
posted by pomegranate to Computers & Internet (23 answers total)
 
No.
posted by unknowncommand at 12:41 PM on January 16, 2008


No, they won't. Not unless you wrote on their wall or interacted with one of their applications, there's no way to tell that someone just viewed your profile.
posted by sjuhawk31 at 12:45 PM on January 16, 2008


No. Unless you friended, poked, wrote on their wall, messaged them, or interacted with an application, there's no way one can tell who views their profile.
posted by ALongDecember at 12:47 PM on January 16, 2008


broke that restraining order, huh?

no, they won't.
posted by M.C. Lo-Carb! at 12:47 PM on January 16, 2008 [8 favorites]


Just to quell my paranoia, there's NO setting in Facebook that would allow someone to see if someone just looked at their page?

(Deeply, deeply embarrassed to be looking up high school hookups at forty years old.)
posted by pomegranate at 12:49 PM on January 16, 2008


I've never seen this functionality before.

Are you seriously worried about it? It sounds like you don't even have contact with this person, so I wouldn't worry about it even if they could see it. My gosh, it was high school, they probably don't even care anymore.
posted by DMan at 12:52 PM on January 16, 2008


Are you even on Facebook yourself?
posted by ALongDecember at 12:52 PM on January 16, 2008


Okay nevermind I read MC Lo-Carb's link. I guess I can start breathing again now. Thanks you guys.
posted by pomegranate at 12:52 PM on January 16, 2008


Deeply, deeply embarrassed to be looking up high school hookups at forty years old.

No shame! We all wonder what happened to people from our past. The fact that we can now easily find out doesn't change anything.
posted by wemayfreeze at 1:09 PM on January 16, 2008 [2 favorites]


There is no setting in Facebook that would allow someone to see if someone just looked at their profile. This is partially because if such functionality were ever to be opened to Facebook users, there would be a massive uproar; once upon a time there was a Facebook application called Trackzor that people thought did the same thing, and backlash was fierce enough that the creators had to explain that no, Trackzor doesn't show you everyone who looks at your profile page, please stop pelting us with complaints.

Facebook's illusion of privacy is one of its major selling points. A privacy intrusion of this magnitude would destroy the site's reputation. Therefore, it will never happen.
posted by chrominance at 1:23 PM on January 16, 2008


At the risk of a derail, this is not at all an unreasonable fear. I was surprised just a few weeks ago to hear from a friend that you can tell on Match.com (or a similar dating site - I am only 90% sure that's the one she uses) when someone has viewed your profile.

Facebook's illusion of privacy is one of its major selling points. A privacy intrusion of this magnitude would destroy the site's reputation. Therefore, it will never happen.

Spent November and December somewhere without phones, internet, newspaper, or smoke signals, huh?
posted by phearlez at 1:30 PM on January 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


Here's the deal: you can't ever see who viewed your profile, there are no settings that would allow them to do that, UNLESS they have installed the application that allows this and you have also installed the application.

But in short, no harm done
posted by CAnneDC at 1:37 PM on January 16, 2008


Caveat: Facebook keeps track of this data. If your former fling works there, they probably have a running list of everyone who looked at their profile.

Other than that, it'd be difficult-to-impossible to do.
posted by toomuchpete at 2:10 PM on January 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


I was surprised just a few weeks ago to hear from a friend that you can tell on Match.com (or a similar dating site - I am only 90% sure that's the one she uses) when someone has viewed your profile.
OKCupid.com does it too.
posted by jmd82 at 2:18 PM on January 16, 2008


No there is no way that Facebook users can figure out which users have accessed their profiles. Rival application Orkut, however, does have that functionality allowing users to see who has looked at their profile as long as they also allow others to see which pages they have accessed.
posted by peacheater at 2:25 PM on January 16, 2008


I believe Friendster can show this information as well, though I nuked my Friendster account as part of my 2008 'quit something' frenzy.
posted by bottlebrushtree at 2:27 PM on January 16, 2008


It's a valid concern because Mixi, Japan's version of Facebook does keep track, including the exact time of the visit. (Though I'm pretty sure you have to have an account yourself to view actual pages.) Their weekly/daily update emails even encourage users to go check these "footprints".
This one time, I clicked on the profile of someone who used to be a regular at an izakaya I frequented but had moved to another city. Her page ended up being full of her own nude pics and proclaimed her love for discipline, white girls, and hot wax. She thought my visit meant I was into her and um, hilarity ensued...
posted by QueSeraSera at 3:09 PM on January 16, 2008


There are a couple of applications that are external to facebook that will give notifications like that, but they only work if both of you have the exact same application. Providing neither of you have that application, you should be fine.
posted by Phire at 3:50 PM on January 16, 2008


This is a valid question; The "who's viewed me" feature also exists on many other social networking sites, though it can usually be disabled.
posted by qvtqht at 4:16 PM on January 16, 2008


Friendster burned a lot of people in precisely that way, so, it's a legitimate worry.
posted by moxiedoll at 4:36 PM on January 16, 2008


Spent November and December somewhere without phones, internet, newspaper, or smoke signals, huh?

At the risk of derailing: far fewer people seem concerned about their info being passed to corporations versus, say, their high school crush, their TA, or their co-workers. The former is a trend that's been unfolding for months now (see also the intrusion of ads into mini-feeds, the "[friend] is a fan of [insert company here]" phenomenon, sponsored Facebook competitions and games) while the latter has not been pursued very much at all. Also, Facebook did eventually back down from the opt-out policy for Beacon, meaning you now have to specifically opt in to allow Facebook to show Beacon data to your friends.

It's worth noting that Facebook still collects the Beacon data unless you block the Beacon elements specifically using something like these Facebook filters for Adblock Plus. Just like Facebook knows what profiles you've accessed, even if the owners of those profiles don't. So I guess the most accurate answer to the OP's question is: yes, your stalking habits remain a secret, unless your high school crush is a Facebook employee.
posted by chrominance at 4:37 PM on January 16, 2008


I don't know if Facebook has any hacks like this available, but at one point I played with inserting a snippet of code which could do a decent job at indicationg who viewed my MySpace profile. It would log IP addresses, MySpace accounts accessed from that computer, etc.

But anyway, as aforementioned, there's nothing wong with just a friendly click on a profile here and there,( restraining orders aside I suppose. )
posted by NikitaNikita at 7:47 PM on January 16, 2008


Just to add in that Classmates.com has this functionality as well. It is one of the ways they try to upsell you from the free account: "SOMEONE WAS CHECKING OUT YOUR PROFILE!! WHO WAS IT?? PAY UP AND WE'LL TELL YOU!"

When you view someone's profile there you do get the chance to click something that says, "oops, nevermind, act like I wasn't here" - but it is not super-obvious and if you don't click it right away, your visit is recorded.
posted by mikepop at 5:41 AM on January 17, 2008


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