As a follow up to Can I Completely Hide What Friends Post on My Wall, today I’m going to answer a related question, which is ‘can I stop a certain person on Facebook from seeing my status updates, without un-friending them’?
The answer is yes, and it can come in very handy.
Facebook will use your default settings each time you share a status update, photo, etc. Settings include Friends Only, Friends of Friends, Everyone, and Customize. And although one of these will be your default setting for all the sharing you do on Facebook, you still have the option to customize the settings for any item you share.
If you want to control who sees an individual post, create your status update or upload your photo, but do not click Share yet. Instead, click the little padlock icon to the left of the Share button. Then choose Customize. You’ll get a window labeled Custom Privacy that shows your default setting (Friends Only, for example), with a box that says “Hide This From These People”. Start typing the name of a person you want to hide that status from, and your friends matching that name will popup. Once you’ve added as many people as you want to that box, click Save Settings. You also have the option to choose “Make This My Default Setting” if you prefer to always hide your statuses from those people.
If, on the other hand, you want to hide a status from most people and only allow a few to see it, there’s an easier way than ‘hiding it’ from all of your friends individually. If you want to hide it from most people, go to the Custom Privacy window (by clicking the padlock icon next to Share). Then use the dropdown to switch from your default setting to Specify People. When you choose Specify People, you’re not given a box in which to type names of just the people that you DO want to see your update or photo.
Facebook’s privacy settings can be pretty tricky to figure out, so do not rely on any privacy setting to completely protect you. Always use your judgement before posting, especially if you’re a physician.