Facebook has announced the introduction of the ‘Manage Activity’ tool that allows users to archive or bulk-delete old Facebook posts based on a variety of filters.
With most people being able to register with and become a user of Facebook over the last 14 years it is likely that over time, users posts on their timelines reflect changes in the views, attitudes, appearance, relationships and more. Also, with employers and many others that users make contact with checking Facebook profiles, or where there have, for example, been changes in relationships that users may wish to hide details off, Facebook has developed a tool to bulk delete user posts so that users can “more accurately reflect who you are today”.
The ‘Manage Activity’ tool gives users the option of moving large numbers of their old posts into an archive or sending them to trash so they can be deleted after 30 days.
Selecting which old posts to hide in the archive or delete can be achieved using different filter options such as the date of posts, or who features in the posts (useful if relationships have changed).
The tool can be used to hide or delete batches of old photos too by going to ‘Activity Log’ and the ‘Manage Posts’ button. Those who have already experimented with the new feature recommend switching to a grid view as it is easier to scan through old photos and select them.
When you consider that a 2018 CareerBuilder survey revealed that 70 per cent of employers use social media to screen candidates in the hiring process and that 43 per cent of employers use social media to check on current employees, it is easy to see some of the value of being able to at least hide or perhaps remove lots of old posts and photos.
In January, and after a gradual roll-out, and as part of its ‘Off-Facebook activity’, Facebook announced that its Clear History tool was available to all users in all countries. The tool was designed to help users to have more control over the protection of their data by allowing them to disconnect their web browsing data from their Facebook account.
Giving Facebook users more control over their data with tools like ‘Manage Activity’ and ‘Clear History’ is another way that Facebook can get back some of the trust that it lost with the Cambridge Analytica scandal, provide users with some extra value, and compete with other social media platforms. For employers who want to take a peek at potential job candidates, this means that they are now likely to get less of a real view of people of interest through this route although it remains to be seen how many Facebook users take advantage of the features of the new tool.
Data privacy and security and having control over personal data is something of great importance now to web users and this has been reflected in legislation (GDPR) and in new features and tools that many of the social media companies are adding to their platforms.