Social Media Quick Tip: Spring Cleaning -- How to Restrict Visibility of Old Facebook Posts


Facebook has a new look. It's called the Timeline and it's a mandatory change for all profiles and pages.

In a previous social media quick tip, we covered how to add historical information to your agency’s timeline.  This week we’ll cover how to remove posts from your Timeline.

We’ve all heard stories about police officers who posted something that got them into trouble or caused embarrassment to the department. If you’ve been on Facebook for a while, there’s a good chance that if you look back through old posts, there might be something there that will gain new scrutiny or compromise your safety or that of fellow officers.

There’s a lot of important information packed into this quick tip. Not only do we cover how to selectively remove or hide old posts. But we also cover how to restrict who can see old posts and comments that were previously viewable only by your friends. What’s quite alarming is that because of the way Facebook has implemented the Timeline, those posts are now viewable to everyone on the planet. 

How to Selectively Remove or Hide Old Posts
Hover your cursor on the old post and you’ll see two little boxes appear in the upper right corner of the post. Select the drop-down menu at the pencil icon and you’ll see an opportunity to either hide post or delete post, as you wish.

If the unwanted post wasn’t made by you but it's on your Timeline because someone else put it there by tagging you, you can remove it from your Timeline by going to the same drop-down menu and selecting remove tag. Similarly, if it’s on your Timeline because you selected like from another website, you can select unlike in the drop-down.

The other little box in the upper right corner has a star in it. If you select that button, it will highlight your post by widening it to appear the entire width of your Timeline.

How to Restrict the Visibility of Past Posts
Previous posts, comments, photos that you previously set to be viewable only by your friends are likely now viewable to the public. To restrict the visibility of all old posts to be viewable only by friends:
1.    In the upper-right corner of your page, pull down to privacy settings.
2.    Then select limit the audience for past posts.
3.    Select limit old posts.

These are important steps to take to maintain officer safety and career survival.

Want More?
Visit the SMILE Conference website for more information about social media and law enforcement, as well as information on upcoming conferences!


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