So you’re Facebook-friends with Grandma. Or your boss. Or your batshit-crazy in-laws. You have three choices: You can self-censor from this point forward, and scrub all your past posts about Spring Break in Guadalajara. You can continue as usual and risk intra-family war or loss of employment. Or you can make use of Facebook lists.
Facebook lists, like Twitter lists, are a way to categorize your friends. For example, I could put all my Austin friends in one list called “Austin Friends” (creative, eh?). Or you could create a list called “Batshit-Crazy In-Laws” for your batshit-crazy in-laws. (I would never do such a thing.)
What’s great about lists is that you can choose to make your posts visible only to certain lists or make your posts invisible to certain lists. This latter option is useful if you’re not comfortable sharing news of your latest genital piercing with Aunt Maisey. Here’s how to do it:
First, go to your Friends. (At this writing there’s a link in the left column.)
Click “Edit Friends.”
Click “Create a List.”
Name your new list and select its members.
Save the list and open a new post. Click the dropdown represented by a little lock and choose “Custom.”
In the next window, enter the name of the list — or individuals — you want to hide your post from. If you want, you can make this your default setting for future posts.
Save your setting, publish your post, and voila! You’re done.
Now, a couple of caveats:
Facebook changes their privacy settings constantly, so these instructions won’t work forever. Check your settings often to be sure nothing has slipped.
There is no guarantee that just because you hid a post from someone, it won’t still reach that person. Either Facebook could screw up, or one of your “friends” could innocently (or not-so-innocently) email/tweet/telephone your post to the person you’re trying to hide from. So use these settings with caution and don’t post anything that will get you fired or thrown in jail, no matter how tight you think your privacy settings are.