Facebook is Laughing at Your Privacy Settings

If you have set your personal information to Friends Only, you really need to read this.

While there are still many who don’t understand the importance of keeping personal information visible to friends only, a lot of users have learned to go into their settings and make information, like their location, private and only visible to their friends. They have learned about not making posts public if they contain personal information, by understanding who can see a post they make and how to choose that audience.

Many of those users have found refuge in Facebook Groups, joining select groups, knowing that all the members are pre-screened by devoted, diligent admins. They feel safe joining a Mom’s group, sharing their thoughts and even offering outgrown toys and clothes for sale to other members of the group. They are their friends, their neighbors and they have been checked out by the admins. It’s a safe zone, free from spammers, scammers and creeps. They join local Buy & Sell, Garage Sale and Swap groups, again, their friends and neighbors are there with them. Trouble makers and seedy types are filtered out by one or more admins, human beings.

So your privacy is set to friends, you only post in local groups you are confident have skilled admins keeping out the unwanted, but suddenly you are getting private messages from total strangers about your items for sale. You know they are not in any of the groups you posted in, so how do they know about your items? Their messages indicate they know your location as they try to get you to meet up at a local coffee shop. How is this possible??

Welcome to Marketplace

Facebook has, without your knowledge, taken your post in that trusted group and put it in their Marketplace, a new eCommerce portion of Facebook you may not even know about. Marketplace is like craigslist and eBay rolled into one. This is how they are laughing at your privacy.

Your privacy controls have gone out the window

You, wisely, secure your profile so that strangers cannot see where you live. You join only local groups comprised of people you know and monitored by conscientious admins who keep the strangers out.

You post your items for sale in the closed group, where the ads aren’t visible to the public. Despite your settings being clearly set to friends only, Facebook has made your location public. Any post you made with the “Sell Something” feature in your trusted circle within your groups, is now there for all to see. With your location.

Trying to use the discussion method and Facebook sees the $ sign and automatically converts it to the Sell something feature. If you accept it that way, you are not given the option to keep it out of Marketplace. You have to go back and edit the post.

Forced Inclusion

You purposely use the discussion tab because you don’t want your ad to be fed to the Marketplace and seen outside the group. When you hit post, Facebook automatically sees a price and changes it to a sale post.

If you catch that, you can go to the edit menu and switch it back to discussion.

But if you don’t catch it, your ad now becomes content fed to the Marketplace. Facebook claims only public group posts are automatically fed to the Marketplace, while closed and secret group sale ads are given the option to “opt-in”. Many Facebook users have posted ads in closed groups and discovered that the check box was already pre-checked to include in Marketplace.

Facebook Users Blindsided

Facebook Marketplace is available in the USA, however it is not available on all devices, nor is it available on your phone if you do not use the messenger app, and many have reported not being able to access it on PC’s.

Peoples ads are getting posted, in many cases, without their knowledge to a service they do not even have access to.

Facebook still thinks they are offering us a free service and they have no obligation to provide customer service, nor explanations of their policies and actions. If they refuse to be accountable for their deceitful ways of interferring with our privacy settings, we all need to educate others to help them understand the risks.

Please share this on Facebook, Twitter and wherever you can to ensure those using Facebook groups are aware and can exercise their right to keep their posts out of Marketplace.