You Oughta Know: Facebook Apps

I am sick to death of seeing my name pop up in Facebook updates like this:

a) I never read the “Pharmageddon” or “Cohabitation” articles. Friends of mine did, but it sure looks like I was browsing those headlines.

b) I did watch “Slow Jam the News” but it was days before. And I never consented, specifically, to sharing that story on my timeline.

So, in a fit of rage, I decided it was time to do some Facebook app housecleaning. But I was surprised at how tricky it was!

First of all, some backstory. You give permission to these apps, when you sign in using Facebook connect or approve another request. Typically, you’ll get a pop-up that looks like this:

So it’s not that Facebook or the apps are breaching your privacy or are evil — you have to say it’s OK first. But after a while, you might want to take back permission, change your settings, etc.

Here’s how you do it.

Step 1: Log into Facebook.

Step 2: Look for the arrow/dropdown on the top right of your screen, next to your “Home” link. Click it and

Step 3: Select Account Settings.

Step 4: On the left sidebar, click Apps.

From there, you’ll see a list of apps that you have granted permission to, you’ll see timestamps of your last use, and you’ll see an Edit dropdown menu.

Click edit, and you’ll get a new series of options:

You can update who can see posts from the app, etc. OR you can remove the app altogether (if you want to do this more quickly, just click the “x” next to the app on the menu previous to this one).

I did some major cleaning in my app settings (ironically, I can’t seem to find the one that posts the “recently read” crap that sparked this issue) and I recommend that you take a look and see if there are things that you previously approved that are no longer relevant.

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  1. says

    I just came across you :)
    Thanks for this. I actually just tweaked my FB and got rid of Yahoo. I, too, noticed it LOOKED like I read articles that my friends were. I thought it was kinda cool at first, but I read a LOT of articles and that crap was probably clogging feeds. Plus, I like some things I read to stay with me.

  2. says

    I had to share this blog on…Facebook! Because I’m constantly seeing those article things. In fact, it was since seeing that they did that that I chose never to add those apps in the first place. I’d rather read articles and blogs and share the ones I want!

  3. says

    Hmm. It’s also interesting to see what information different apps “need” and what they can do. I deleted some just for overreaching. Not sure why my Starbucks card app needs to see my pictures, etc.

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