Facebook's New Privacy Settings, Explained

How to remove ugly photos, block people instantly, and more — a (very) simple guide to help you better understand the latest round of changes.

This article is from the archive of our partner .

So Facebook announced Wednesday that it's updating its privacy settings for what seems like the thousandth time. Now generally when the social network does this sort of thing, a lot of confusion and anger ensues. And Facebook knows it: "We really want to avoid surprises for users," director of product Sam Lessin tells Wired's Alexandra Change. But just in case that doesn't work out, we've created a (very) simple guide to help you better understand the latest round of changes.

'Stop Someone from Bothering'

By moving key privacy settings to the homepage — right under that little lock drop-down menu — Facebook's made it easier to block people than ever. Before, this kind of stuff was hidden deeper in the website, where you can still manage who can contact you via messages and wall posts and who can see your "stuff," as in stuff like photos. And that "stop bothering me" option will allow you to block a user with a single click.

Filtered Updates and Content

The Activity Log, which Facebook debuted last year and users can access via their profile pages, under the cover photo, used to do just that: show all your activity. But as of today there are filters involved: Say you'd like to see only photo posts — well, you can do that.

Easier Heinous Photo Removal Requests!

Along with that updated log comes the option to request photo removals en masse. You can find a series of unflattering photos, detag, and send messages to your friends calling them horrible monsters for posting that picture of you with the quadruple chin while doing vodka shots at the office holiday Christmas party.

Everyone Is Searchable

Facebook will no longer allow it users to opt out of being searchable. Boo. Only a single-digit percent of people hide themselves, Facebook product director Sam Lessin told Bits Blog's Nick Bilton. But for a company with over a billion users, that might mean a lot of people.

Apps Ask for Permission Twice Now 

All those annoying questions you get from third-party apps? Yeah, double those. When you connect with an app via Facebook, first it'll ask for all the rights to repost and use your information. After accepting that death sentence, it'll ask to automatically share things on your Timeline.

More Pop-Ups

Since we often forget what certain actions mean, Facebook has decided to give more clarity on the process. So, when we do some sort of privacy related action — hide a post from your timeline, say — little educational pop-ups will explain what that means, as pictured at right. It sounds a tad annoying, but it's useful enough.

Photos via GadgetLab, Bits, and Facebook. 

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.