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Are Your Facebook Photos Really Hidden?


We’ve all been there. You attended a party at the weekend and let’s just say you were looking a little bit worse for wear towards the end of the night. During this point in the evening – when you’re really only looking forward to a delicious kebab and a taxi home – somebody thinks it would be an inspired idea to take lots, and lots, and lots of photographs so these moments can live forever in the world of Facebook (and your nightmares)…

You wake up the very next morning and scroll through your timeline to examine what you missed on social media from the night before. Naturally, you are horrified when you’re directed to ‘Stacey’s Album 2k15’ that she uploaded just 7 hours ago. You’re then greeted with the images that snap happy Stacey took of you looking positively dreadful. You immediately hide them photos from your timeline so nobody ever has to witness them again. Gone forever. Or are they?

A company called Picturebook claims to have invented an app that allows you to view these hidden photos. What’s more, you don’t even have to be friends with the people whose photos you want to view. Pretty scary, huh? At this point you may be thinking, how is this even possible? After all, I’ve got my privacy settings locked down and you would be right in thinking this. No app or browser extension – Picturebook included – is allowed to alter these privacy settings, but what the app is doing is resurfacing photos that you could have seen anyway, despite the user hiding them from their timeline.

So merely hiding these unflattering photos won’t make them disappear from Facebook altogether. What you have to do is completely untag yourself from the pop-up window that appears. It’s only by doing this that Picturebook cannot find the images you’ve hidden.

An alternative way of preventing this from happening is politely instructing Stacey that no, I would not like my photo to be taken at this unlawful hour and if you do upload these photos, I shall have my revenge. Joking of course, but now is a good time to revisit your Facebook privacy settings to ensure you’re in control of what others see on your profile. The social network recently made privacy settings more accessible with a new Privacy Basics page, intended to make this process easier.

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