[ANSWERED] How Do I Hide My Facebook Posts From Friends Without Unfriending Them?

Believe it or not, I get asked this question A LOT.

In fact, I would get that questions relating to content restriction are probably one of the most common questions that get via my contact form or direct messages on the various social networks. The most recent request came in the form of this question:

Heya, Sean. I hope you can help. Is there a way that I can block a person from sharing things on Facebook, without unfriending or blocking them? Thanks!

Note: I edited and truncated the message to keep it clear and concise and also protect the innocent.

The answer is yes. Facebook provides you with a pretty broad range of tools that can help you determine who can see, and therefore, share your posts. In fact, I employ this practice on my personal Facebook account. I have friends who sometimes just can’t say something nice. In fact, there are some that NEVER say something nice. Apparently, they never learned Thumper’s Rule…which definitely applies to comments on the Web.

Case in point. A couple of years ago, I traveled to a client on the day before my birthday. My client, who was amazing to work with, baked me cupcakes because she knew it was close to my birthday and she knew how much I love cupcakes. I was so surprised and happy, I posted a photo of my birthday cupcake and thanked her on Facebook. One of my (not to be named) friends on Facebook commented that it “looks like dog poop”. Nice.

This was the catalyst for creating my “Nope” list. This is a list of my Facebook friends who don’t get to see all my posts. They are still my friends, and I don’t want to unfriend them. I just don’t trust them with their comments. Do I still like them as friends? Certainly. I just don’t want to hear them spew their junk all over my photos and posts.

So, if you’re in a situation where you want to restrict who gets to see and share your photos on Facebook, here are the steps to create your own “Nope” list and apply it to your posts.

  1. Login to Facebook in your browser. I haven’t found a way to initially set this up on mobile, but once it’s set up it works on both desktop and mobile.
  2. In the left navigation, click the “Friends Lists” link under the “Explore” heading.
    The Facebook friends list is where you start to restrict access to your posts
  3. Click the “Create List” button at the top of the Friends Lists page
  4. In the “Create New List” popup that opens, type “Nope” as the list name. You can actually name this whatever you want, I just like “Nope” because it’s short and sweet and reminds me that these are folks that aren’t going to see my posts.
  5. In the Members field, type the names of people who you don’t want to see your posts. In the image below, I added Tommy Waffles. He’s not really on my “Nope” list, but it’s good for an example.
    Create a list of people who aren't going to see your Facebook status updates
  6. Click the Create button and now you have a list of people that you can avoid sharing with.

    NOTE: If you ever want to revisit the list and update it, it’s always available by clicking the Friends Lists icon in the left navigation in the desktop version of Facebook.

  7. Creating the list isn’t enough, though. Now you have to apply it to your future Facebook posts. To do this, start by creating a new post.
  8. In your new post, just type anything. OK…maybe not anything. DON’T type something like “testing my new permissions to keep some of my Facebook friends from seeing my future status updates”. Don’t type that.
  9. Next to “News Feed”, you will see a dropdown that probably says “Friends” or “Everyone”. If it says “Everyone”, you are sharing every status update with the world. You might reconsider that.
  10. Click that dropdown menu and choose “Friends except…”
    Use the friends except setting on Facebook to apply a custom list of people who you don't want to see your posts
  11. In the Friends Except box that opens, choose the “Nope” list and click Save Changes.
  12. Post your status update by clicking the “Post” button.

At this point, you have now posted a status update that anyone on the “Nope” list will not see. Even if one of your friends, who they are friends with, shares it. They won’t see it. The other nice thing about this is that since Facebook remembers your last status update setting, any future updates will automatically be set to “Friends except Nope”…even on your mobile device.

If you want to go back to sharing to all friends, just use the privacy settings dropdown on a future post and choose “Friends”.

There you have it. Not to difficult and it’s less traumatic than unfriending someone over a couple of comments. If you have a better way to doing this or comments (constructive ones please) about this process, feel free to share in the comments below.

If you have a question about Facebook or another social channel that you’d like answered, feel free to reach out via the contact form and ask away.

Cheers!

–Sean

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Comments And Reactions

  1. Feast Thailand says:

    Hi
    Thanks so much for the info, yet I was wondering why the image from the FB post doesn’t show up in the Twitter share. In fact, the tweet is not linked to anything, with the only link being the bit.ly shortened one. I tried 2 or 3 times and eventually had to just manually add the pic and had already manually added the text. Yes, the link goes to the original FB post, but if I say put in a link to a page from our website, the appropriate Twitter card shows, with text and image and the tweet is fully linked to that page. This does not appear that much better than doing it manually, unless I have misunderstood something
    cheers


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