Your page and comment likes are yours and yours alone. So why does Facebook see fit to share this knowledge with the world? Adding a tally into the like box for some page with a noble cause tends to be perfectly fine. You may even want to draw attention to it. But what about things you like on a personal and private level? Once you like something, everyone who visits that page, or yours, can see it.
“I’m not comfortable with this. I’d much rather keep certain things private, likes included.”
Some may scoff at the notion of total privacy on a social media platform. I mean, the whole thing was created in order to share your thoughts with the world. But some things may benefit you by remaining anonymous. Generally speaking, anything that is seen as a social stigma may cause you grief to have your friends, family, or total strangers take notice. Granted, if your family and friends can’t accept you for you, that’s on them. That, however, is a whole different topic for another article.
What I want to tackle is how to go about hiding all of your Facebook likes from anyone but yourself.
If you’re not the type to make a grand statement and would prefer to keep all of your likes to yourself, then you’re in luck. Here are a few tips and tricks to help avoid putting too much of your personal feelings on display.
Different Types of Likes on Facebook
First, you’ll need to understand that there are several types of likes that can be found on Facebook. There are those for different categories, such as Movies, Television, Music, Books, Sports Teams, Athletes, Inspirational People, Restaurants, Games, Activities, Interests, Sports, Food, Clothing, Websites, and Other. Clearly, there are a lot of places a like can show up.
You have the ability to control, on a category level, who can see your likes. This means that you’ll need to hide all or show all likes in a certain category. There currently is no option for hiding individually liked pages. This means if you like a page for football, it will show that you liked a page for sports but you can have it so that the individual team liked doesn’t show up.
Kind of hokey but this is what Facebook has given us and until there is another way, it’s what we’re stuck with.
There are also likes that show up on your timeline from friends or strangers. You can hide these as well but similar to the categories, you’ll need an all or nothing approach to a certain group of people. This means you’ll need to adjust who can see what on your timeline as opposed to the likes directly.
First things first, I’ll touch on how you can make your likes a bit more private.
Hiding Your Likes From The Public Eye
The steps to privatizing your personal likes on Facebook are rather simple. In order to hide your likes:
- First, log in to Facebook with the proper credentials.
- Next, click on your profile’s avatar/image located in the bar toward the top of the page.
- The avatar/image will be accompanied by your display name and be to the right of the search box.
- From the profile page, locate the More drop-down menu on the bar just below your cover photo.
- Click the More drop-down and from the menu click on Likes.
- Scroll down to your “Likes” area and inside the banner off to the far right, locate the Manage button.
- The Manage button has the icon of a pencil and is right next to the + Add Likes button.
- Click the Manage button and from the menu select Edit the Privacy of Your Likes.
- A list of categories will pop-up. To the right of each category is a globe with a drop-down arrow. For every category, you want to make private, click the corresponding drop-down and select Only me.
- The Only me icon will be a subdued lock. You can also choose to allow only friends to see your likes by selecting the Friends option.
- You can also choose specific people to share or hide the likes from by selecting the Custom choice from the list.
- Once the level of privacy has been selected for the categories you’ve chosen, each one should now have the appropriate icon visible. This lets you know that it has been set correctly.
- Once you’re finished editing who can and cannot see your likes, click the Close button at the bottom.
Your likes in those categories have now been privatized. As mentioned earlier, hiding likes for individual pages are not currently in the cards. However, being able to choose different restrictions for each of the nine categories is still a decent way to maintain some privacy.
Hiding Your Timeline
Another way to remove your likes from the public is to prevent whole groups of people from seeing what’s on your Facebook timeline. To do this:
- While already logged in to Facebook, click the drop-down arrow in the top-right corner of the page.
- From the menu that pops up, select Settings.
- In the left-hand side menu, select Timeline and Tagging.
From this page, you’ll have three different options that revolve around who can see your timeline, who can tag you, and if you want to review those posts before they are made public. This means any posts you’ve liked or have you involved can be hidden from view so long as you give the word.
If you back out and instead select Privacy from the left-side menu, you can edit “Your Activity”. This means all past and future posts can be made invisible to the public, all friends or specified ones, or everyone but you.
Perhaps one day Facebook will add more granular privacy controls for likes where you’ll be able to hide the fact that you enjoy water polo or that you’re a cat person instead of a dog person. Unfortunately, until that day comes we’re all forced to use the features that Facebook has provided us.