How to Find Out If Someone Has a Privacy Block on Facebook

By Carolyn Luck

Facebook privacy blocks are tough to decode.
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Enhanced privacy settings make Facebook members safer when sharing on the social network. Most Facebook features are designed to facilitate viral sharing, which can decrease privacy protection for members who don’t take added measures to limit visibility. An array of privacy features, ranging from basic settings to friend lists and blocking, make it possible for members to achieve a customized privacy experience. It can be hard to tell, but there are ways to determine if someone has a privacy block on Facebook.

Timeline Visibility

Most members adjust privacy settings to limit the visibility of their content. Some personal information, including cover and profile photos, Facebook email addresses and basic Timeline information, is considered public, which means it’s visible to anyone. When looking at someone’s Timeline, whether he is a confirmed friend or not, consider the amount of personal content you can see. If different types of posts are visible, including status updates, photos and comments, his privacy settings are not very strict. If his Timeline is limited to basic public information, he has likely altered his privacy to prevent people from seeing it.

Friend Lists

Just because someone is a confirmed friend does not mean they’re sharing everything with you. Privacy settings can be applied across the board or on a post-by-post basis. The Facebook friend list is a privacy feature that enables members to group friends together based on customized factors. With friend lists, people share selectively, maintaining their privacy without ignoring friend requests. Friend lists are not mutual and members added do not receive notification, making it difficult to tell if someone has placed you on one. If you come across a friend’s activity on a mutual friend’s page, mutual group or somewhere else on Facebook, but you can’t see it on his Timeline and you did not receive notice of it in your news feed, it’s a sign that you’ve been added to a friend list.

Block Lists

If someone has added you to his block list, virtually all connections between you have been removed. Blocking is a privacy function that involves two members and, since it’s mutual, it requires initiation by only one member. Once blocked, neither party may see the other’s Facebook presence. This can make it difficult to determine if you’ve been blocked or if that member has simply deactivated or deleted his Facebook account. Enter the member’s name in the search box at the top of any page. If there are no matching results, it’s a sign that you may have been blocked. This is especially true if that member was once a confirmed Facebook friend. After blocking, it’s difficult to find any evidence of a member’s Facebook activity, but you may discover something on a mutual friend’s page or a mutual group. Most activity is dated, which may help you determine whether or not his Facebook account is still active. Recent activity is a sign that you’ve probably been blocked.

Groups and Pages

Facebook groups offer several privacy options, the least restrictive of which enables full visibility of all posted content. Pages are the most public of all Facebook spaces, with no limits to content visibility except admin panels. A member with an active presence in a Facebook group or on a Facebook page who has limited visible Timeline activity has likely adjusted his privacy settings, using privacy blocks throughout his account. This is typical for group and page owners, who may have an interest in protecting their privacy. These can include business owners, public figures and anyone else who wishes to share content without revealing too much of their personal information.