On Facebook: “So-and-so read an article”

Have you seen that “So-and-so read an article…” in your Facebook news feed, and it’s something really incriminating?

Peter read an article titled
“How to hide an affair from your wife.”


Where does this come from? One of the latest types of apps that have emerged on Facebook, social news readers. These apps automatically post to your Facebook friends everything you read on the related news site. So for example, if you have installed the Washington Post Social Reader Facebook app, EVERYTHING you read on the Washington Post can appear in your Facebook friends’ news feeds.  This seems like a serious invasion of privacy, with inadequate forewarning for the users who enlist.

Though it is brilliant for publishers to push their articles out into Facebook’s viral atmosphere, maybe you don’t want people to know you just read about how to eradicate back warts.

Good news is, there’s ways to avoid this and ways to adjust if you haven’t avoided.

Here’s how people get into this fix. Lets say you see that your friend read an article and you’re interested in reading too, and you click on the article in your Facebook news feed. If you aren’t taken to the article but instead arrive at the app installation page where it asks you to install and allow it access before you see the article, stop. Probably you should evacuate.  But, if you want to allow a particular news app access to your news feed, and would like control over the news stream nightmare, just adjust the app settings (or remove it altogether).  Here’s how:

Log in to Facebook. In the top right hand corner is a downward facing arrow. Click on it.
Click on Account Settings.
In the left-hand sidebar click on Apps.
Click the Edit button next to the app you want to edit and adjust accordingly.

It’s highly recommended to once in a while go into your Facebook settings and see what apps you’ve installed and remove those you don’t use or recognize. You’ll be surprised what’s lurking there.