How To Opt Out Of Seeing Who's Reading What On Facebook (UPDATED)

News feeds are showing people who’s reading what — but you can opt out of that, either by choosing not to share what you read, limiting what kinds of posts you get from different friends, or combinations thereof.

The recently launched Facebook editions of online publications, along with the upgraded plugins for media websites are together putting updates into news feeds to alert people when friends are reading the same story.

Publications including The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, and The Guardian have launched Facebook editions, and news feed posts show articles read by friends.

Thumbnail images of the reading friends’ profile pictures accompany the news feed posts, with the most widely read story appearing atop the post.

The more people read the same article, the greater its visibility in the news feed.

Apparently, not everyone wants to see what their friends are reading nor vice versa. Luckily, you can turn either or both of these things off.
To stop blasting your friends’ news feeds with everything you’re reading online:
  • Click on the small white triangle in the upper right-hand corner of any Facebook screen on the desktop;
  • Click on “privacy settings” within the pull-down menu;
  • Scroll down a bit to “apps and websites,” then click “edit settings” in that area;
  • In the area labeled “apps you use,” click either:
    • the box labeled “edit settings,”
    • the first, linked word on “Remove unwanted or spammy apps,” or
    • The first two words of “Turn off all platform apps.”
  • Click on the names of all media outlets to remove them from your list of applications.
  • The next time you are reading an article online and you see a prompt asking you to “connect” with Facebook, disregard it or decline.
To hide posts in your news feed about what people are reading, move your mouse toward the upper right corner of any post about what’s being read, and click there so that a pull-down menu appears.
Then choose from the options you see pictured to the right — you can choose to limit stories about a particular subject or choose to see less of a person’s posts.

Readers, do you feel more inclined to check out an article if you see that a friend or group of friends read it? Or do you not want that information in your news feed?

Many thanks to Eti Suruzon for the tip.

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