How to block Facebook Beacon

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by Barbara J. Feldman on December 1, 2008

Facebook is a great social networking site. It helps millions of people connect and stay in touch around the world. With Facebook you can personalize your site and only allow the people you want to see it actually see it. It is a great way to represent yourself. It is particularly good for staying in touch with people who you might not otherwise contact. There are many friends and family members who we simply do not get the chance to speak with much. Calling them might be awkward or time consuming. We would like to be able to keep in touch with someone but do not have the time or interest to spend lots of time doing so. Facebook has been used recently to network more than just friends. Because Facebook is such an important service and something that so many of us use, we should probably know a bit about the other parts of the Facebook business.

Did you know that Facebook also has an advertising division that does some things that people have not been very happy about. One of the advertising programs is something called Facebook Beacon, which came out in 2007. Facebook Beacon is a fairly simple program that companies can install on their websites. It records the purchase information of Facebook users and then publishes it on Facebook. The point is to provide other users and companies with your purchase information. Recently Facebook has responded to the pressure to get rid of Beacon by allowing the user to accept or deny the use of their information. This was due to some fairly intense pressure from groups who did not like the idea of their personal information being spread around. If you are one of these people who does not like the idea of Facebook Beacon, you can either simply deny the right of the business to publish that information, or you can take some other steps to permanently turn it off. Here are the basic steps for turning off Facebook Beacon:

1. First open your Facebook account. Look at your profile and go to the “privacy”toolbar on the main profile page.

2. Look for the “external websites” option and then click on “edit settings”

3. There should be a box that says “don’t allow any websites to send stories to my profile.” Click this box.

4. Finally, click on save.

This means that Facebook will not publish your information. It does not mean that Facebook is not recording it. By following these steps you can, however, still be certain that your information will not be going online. You can also know that you will not have to keep disallowing individual purchases to be published. While this might not give you complete peace of mind it should help you to rest a little easier.

Facebook is a great service. Like many social networking sights it is a business and needs to make money to survive. However, it doesn’t need to allow companies to record your information and publish it online. If you are a business and are interested in Facebook Beacon, realize that this is an advertising strategy that has encountered some real problems. Now that people have to okay the publishing of their purchasing information, realize that people will know that you are trying to collect their information. This might make them think twice about purchasing from you and from your company. It could also turn the user against Facebook, which would be too bad.


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Cite This Page

Feldman, Barbara. "How to block Facebook Beacon." Surfnetkids. Feldman Publishing. 1 Dec. 2008. Web. 24 Apr. 2014. <http://www.surfnetkids.com/tech/491/how-to-block-facebook-beacon/ >.