Facebook chief privacy officer Michael Richter announced on Thursday that users would no longer be able to hide from the social network’s search results.
The company set plans in motion last year to phase out the user setting, “Who can look up your Timeline by name?” which allowed people to control whether they could be found on the social network when someone typed their name in the graph search.
Facebook removed the option for the people who did not use the setting but allowed the “small percentage” of people still using the setting to conceal themselves from public search results.
Richter said that the setting had limited functionality, since it was created during Facebook’s early days: “For example, it didn’t prevent people from navigating to your Timeline by clicking your name in a story in News Feed, or from a mutual friend’s Timeline,” he said.
Instead, Richter recommends users take a look at current privacy settings that give them more control of what on their profile can be seen by others.
“Today, people can also search Facebook using Graph Search (for example, “People who live in Seattle,”) making it even more important to control the privacy of the things you share rather than how people get to your Timeline,” he said.
Richter also said that the setting also “made Facebook’s search feature feel broken at times.”
“For example, people told us that they found it confusing when they tried looking for someone who they knew personally and couldn’t find them in search results, or when two people were in a Facebook Group and then couldn’t find each other through search,” he said.