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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

How to Disable Facebook Places

Hopefully, you've read my rants on how dangerous I believe the Facebook Places feature is for kids.  If you haven't you can read them here.  My intention was to post instructions for parents and teachers to disable Facebook Places but my friends at beat me to it (not surprising since they always have great info for parents and teachers).  So with their gracious permission, I am re-posting their content so you can be better informed about disabling this feature.

Here is their article (you can read the original article complete with pictures here)


How to Turn Facebook Places Off
A GPS (Global Positioning System) can be a great tool when we need it--like for driving directions or when we need to find the nearest Starbucks.  But when it comes to protecting our children from strangers--whether it's online or in real life--giving away the exact location of our kids is the last thing we want to do. 

So we've put this guide together for parents who use Facebook, or have older children who are on Facebook.  The guide gives you a thorough walk-through on how to disable Facebook Places to the best of your abilities.  You'll have to dig through the Privacy Settings and Account Settings of your profile and your child's profile if you want to do it right, so follow each step carefully:
Privacy Settings: Step 1 - Log in your Facebook profile => go to Account => go to Privacy Settings.
Step 2 - From this page click on the little blue link towards the bottom called "Customize settings"
Step 3 - In the category "Things I Share" look for "Places I check in to" and click on the drop-down menu.
Step 4 - Choose "Custom". In the box that comes up, under "Make this visible to" select "Only Me".
This will make it so that in case you do ever "check in" on accident, with Places, the only News Feed it'll appear on is yours.  (This is protection for you since Facebook doesn't allow you the option to "disable" or to completely opt out of this particular feature of Places.)
Step 5 - In the same category, uncheck the box called "Include me in "People Here Now" after I check in
Step 6 - In the next category, "Things Others Share", click on the drop-down menu next to "Friends can check me in to Places" and select Disabled.
Account Settings:
Step 1 - Go back up to Account  => go to Account Settings
Step 2 - At the top, click on the Notifications tab.
Step 3 - Scroll all the way down to the Places category and uncheck BOTH boxes. 
Step 4 - Click the Save Changes button below.
Click here for the full guide with pictures and all.  You can also read Mary Kay's thoughts and concerns about Facebook Places.

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