Facebook is binning a feature that lets people retain their anonymity on the social network.
The retirement of the "Who can look up your Timeline by name?" privacy setting was announced by the company on Thursday. It means anyone can find the profile of someone else through the search bar.
People used to be able to make themselves disappear from the search functions built into the site, and hide their presence on the network to strangers by modifying the setting.
Facebook had removed the feature for everyone that hadn't turned it on late last year, and now is erasing it for those who opted in as well.
If users are affected by this, Facebook suggests they retain a sense of privacy by carefully choosing "the audience of the individual things you share", according to a blog post by Mark Zuckerberg-led biz.
Being careful about what you slap on the site doesn't get rid of the problem that you can now be found on Facebook, mind, whereas before stalkers admirers could look up your name fruitlessly. Now, undesirables can find you and try to friend you, though the information they see on your profile will depend on how much you have shared.
As Facebook is a for-profit ad-backed company whose revenue growth depends on its users sharing as much data as possible with one another, the company's main motivation is to eradicate user privacy over time. The removal of this search setting goes hand-in-hand with the global roll out of Graph Search, which makes it more complicated than ever before for a user to keep their interactions on the network hidden from the Eye-of-Sauron-gaze of Zuckerberg & Co.
Toward the bottom of its blog post, the social network recommends that privacy-conscious users "share each post with the people you want to be able to see it," and that they use a feature named "Activity Log" to alter the privacy settings on things that have already been shared.
It's also possible to plead with "friends and others to remove anything they may have shared about you that you don't want on the site," the company notes – though if they rarely use Facebook we find it hard to see how this could work in a timely manner. ®