Facebook Hashtags and Privacy

Worried about Facebook Hashtags and Their Impact on Privacy?

As you probably know by now, Facebook has implemented hashtags on its site.  What is a hashtag?  It is using the pound sign, #, in front of a statement or phrase.  For example, right now I am watching the finale of The Voice.  Cher was just performing.  I wrote the following post on Facebook (because I am profound:) Cher is on #TheVoice with crazy #CherHair.  The post looks like this:


Facebook Hashtag Example


Note that the hashtag phrases are blue.  That is because they are now links.  If I click on the link, I will see posts by anyone else who has used the same hashtag.  Here are a portion of the search results. (Blocked for privacy):


HashTag Search on Facebook

You can also search hashtags in the search bar. Like this:

Facebook Hashtag Search


With results like this (again blocked for privacy):


hashtag search results


What About Privacy?

You only have to worry about privacy in the sense that those who you allow to see your posts will be able to actually search for them by the hashtag symbol.  Your posts are not visible to anyone outside your privacy settings.  What matters then is how you choose to share your posts.

If you look closely, you will see each of the posts in the search results above show a globe.  The globe means that the posts were made publicly available.  Other options include friends of friends, friends, or custom.  Custom might mean you exclude or choose specific people to see a post.

You set each post individually.  Posts automatically default to however you shared your last post.

Facebook hashtags will not defeat these privacy settings.  You still control who sees your posts.  At least for now.

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