Tips on Blocking Users and Photo Tags on Facebook


The following article is from Facebook's "Ask the CPO" series with Erin Egan and used with permission.  The original article can be found here:


Ask Our Chief Privacy Officer: 2nd Edition

In the "Ask Our CPO" series, we ask people to submit questions they have about privacy. In this second edition, Erin Egan, our Chief Privacy Officer of Policy, answers questions about blocking and photo tags.


For our second "Ask the CPO" column, I was thrilled to receive so many terrific privacy questions from people who use Facebook.  At Facebook, many of us spend all day thinking about privacy, and so it's great to see so many people outside the company who are interested in these issues as well.


One of the things we wanted to do with this feature is to find out what's on your mind and respond to your specific questions or concerns.  This month, many of the questions I received were about blocking users and photo tags – both very important topics – and I have responded to those questions below.


We also saw questions on lots of other topics, and we're planning on responding to many of them over the upcoming months.  If I didn't answer your question in this edition, please keep checking back and also follow our Facebook and Privacy Page where my team will answer questions as well.


In the meantime, please check the Help Center. It's a great resource, and I highly recommend checking it out to see if your question can immediately be answered there.  From the Help Center, you can type in a question to search for an answer, or you can review our 'Learn the Privacy Basics' tip sheet.


Also, please remember to continue sending in your questions through the "Ask our CPO" app.   


(To protect your privacy, we won't answer questions here that are specific to your account.  For those questions, please check our Help Center to see how to report problems to our User Operations team). 




I received a lot of great questions about blocking users, including these:


What happens when I block someone?  How do I block someone?  Will the blocked person be notified?


On Facebook, there are a number of things you can do if someone is bothering you.  For example, you can use our ‘Report' function to inform the person who posted something that you don't like it, or to ask Facebook to review it. 


If you don't want to communicate with the person at all, you can also block them.  To do this, click the ‘lock' icon near the top of your screen and choose ‘How do I stop someone from bothering me.'  Then type their name or email address into the box that appears. (For more help with this, you can read about blocking in our Help Center).


What happens if you block someone?  First, you'll no longer be friends with that person on Facebook. They won't be able to start Facebook chats or messages with you, and blocking also limits their ability to see the things you post on your timeline. We don't tell people when you block them.


One thing to keep in mind is that blocking might not prevent all communications with a person.  For example, if you're a member of a Facebook group with someone you've blocked, you might still see his or her posts.  And blocking only applies to communications on Facebook, so you might see blocked people in apps you use, or if they contact you by email or in other ways.


What if I want to unblock someone? 


You can always see who you've blocked in the ‘Blocking' section of your account settings.  From there, you can also unblock someone if you change your mind. When you unblock someone, you will need to resend him or her a friend request. You can learn more about unblocking in our Help Center




I also received questions about photo tagging, including these:  


How can I view which photos I am tagged in?  How do I found out who can see photos I am tagged in? Can I remove tags in bulk or do I need to it one-by-one?


These are all great questions – and we can get the answers to each of them using Activity Log.


To get to Activity Log, go to your Timeline, and click on the ‘Activity Log' button near the top of the screen. This takes you to a running list of your activity on Facebook, from applications you've interacted with, friends you've made, photos you've posted, photos your friends have tagged you in, and more.  Only you can see your activity log, but it includes information about who can see the activity shown there and gives you controls – such as the ability to change who can see one of your past posts or to delete the post entirely. 


From here, you can take a look at photos your friends have tagged you in.  Click on ‘Photos,' then ‘Photos of You' on the left bar.  This will show photos you've been tagged in, along with an icon that indicates who can see each photo.  (Just click on the icon for more information.)  For each photo, you can click the pencil on the right side and click ‘Report/Remove Tag' if you're concerned about the photo.


If you want to untag yourself from more than one photo, just check the box next to each photo. Once you have selected all the photos in which you wish to remove a tag, click ‘Report/Remove Tags' and then ‘I want the photo untagged.'


These are just some of the things you can do with Activity Log, and I encourage you to check it out and learn more. For more information, check our Help Center content about Activity Log.

*          *          *

Thanks so much to everyone who submitted questions. I'm looking forward to answering more questions in our next installment, so please keep them coming.


Make sure to ask Erin your privacy questions in the "Ask our CPO" app.