How To Stop Facebook From Publishing Recent Activity To The News Feed

Are you tired of your friends knowing about every group you’ve joined or every Facebook Page you’ve become a fan of? Do you want to RSVP for an event without your friends knowing that you are attending? Sometimes users just want to keep things private and after numerous emails in my inbox, I thought it would be useful to post a short guide on how to prevent Facebook from publishing stories about every single activity you make on the site. With the removal of news feed settings in December, many users have become confused about blocking information from their profile. This guide will tell you how!

Removal Of News Feed Settings

Before jumping into our guide, I thought it would be useful to discuss how published content through Facebook were previously handled. As we wrote in early December, Facebook previously had a privacy settings page which controlled those activities which generated news feed stories. [Note: For the purpose of this guide, “news feed” is synonymous with “stream”.] With the launch of the new privacy settings, Facebook officially removed the news feed settings and as a result, many Facebook users became instantly confused about how to remove stories that they didn’t want their friends to know about. In this guide, we’ll clarify how you can prevent Facebook from posting every action you take on the site.

How To Block Recent Activity

The other big issue is how news feed stories are published every time you join a group or join a Facebook Page. While Pages that you join will always be public information, you can prevent stories from being generated which notify your friends that you recently became a fan. Unfortunately Facebook has removed the news feed settings from before, however you can still control the visibility of most content by modifying your privacy settings in conjunction with your application settings.

While we published the basic idea behind preventing embarrassing news feed stories in the article “How To Avoid A Facebook Photo Tagging Disaster“, we’ve created a short video to help you understand how to control those events, groups, photos, videos, and pages that generate feed stories. In short, by visiting the application settings page of those applications that are “Allowed to Post”, you can customize which applications, can or cannot post stories to your profile without prompting you first.

For example, if I no longer want my friends to be notified of new Facebook Page that I’ve joined, I can visit the application settings page linked in the last paragraph, and scroll down to where it says “Ads and Pages”. Next, click on “Edit Settings” and in the dialog box which pops up, click on “Additional Permissions”. You can then uncheck the box next to “Publish recent activity” if you don’t want your friends to be notified about new Facebook Pages that you have become a fan of.

In the video below, I’ll walk through how to prevent your friends from seeing events you’ve RSVPed to, how to block friends from being notified about images and videos you’ve been tagged in, and how to block friends from seeing groups you’ve joined.


After following the guide above you should now have more control over what information your friends can see. Keep in mind that whenever you comment on a friend’s status update, the visibility will be dictated by the privacy settings that your friend set for their status. If you really want to delete a story which notifies your friends of a post you’ve commented on, you can scroll down to the “Recent Activities” of your profile feed and click on remove next to the story about your comment as pictured in the image below.

As you’ll notice, we didn’t include a guide about controlling the visibility of wall post stories under “Recent Activities”. That’s because wall posts are visible to your friends by default. Tomorrow we will post a guide which should help you more thoroughly understand the visibility of wall posts. For now, you should have greater control over which Facebook activities post stories to your profile!

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