When Facebook Employed My Friends at My Company

Most people don’t use Facebook lists because they’re unwieldy & cumbersome to set up. If you have more than 100 friends you might as well forget it.

I am one of those chumps who uses Facebook lists to manage wall & photo access because my 770 friends include friends, family & work colleagues (yes, these are all people who I know in person. And yes, I am the person who is still in touch with people from elementary school through graduate schools & the decades beyond).

While I do not mind sharing my foodie & travel pics with everyone, even *I* recognize that my mother & 3 close friends are the only ones who care about pictures of a new rug in the dining area.

Most days these lists work well for me. Today was not one of those days.

I decided to do some spring cleaning up & update my work colleagues list. One of the wonderful thing in the PAST about FB lists was that people do not know what list you might have them on. Being the chump, I assumed this was still valid even though good sense should have warned me to check;  after all Facebook seems to change it’s privacy settings every 7 seconds.

Turns out, when you use the Facebook “co-worker” smartlist it assumes that all those people are your current co-workers, not just work colleagues over the past 15 years. It also posts on each of THEIR timelines that they work for your company.

Facebook Help claims that the list will give you a notice about this “feature” when you add the first person. What they DON’T tell you is if you had people on the list BEFORE they added this new timeline update it will not give you a warning.

What does this really mean? Today some 75 people were informed by Facebook that they are employed by my company. I do not know how I’m going to make payroll this month.


  1. AlbatrossMay 2, 2013

    I use lists a lot and maybe because I used them from the beginning, and add new people to appropriately lists when they friend me, I don’t find them all that hard to use. But I had a small heart attack when you said, “One of the wonderful thing in the PAST about FB lists was that people do not know what list you might have them on.”

    I recently created a list called “assholes” for all those people who, no matter what I post, always respond with some kind of negative or self-centered comment. You know, THOSE people…

    Status: “Finally! Some lovely weather outside!”
    Comment: “Gosh, I wish *I* could go outside but my agoraphobia and allergies restrict me to my home where I moan in pain all day and my only friends are my cats who I hate.”

    Nowadays I post almost everything to “Friends of Friends” but not “Assholes.” REALLY don’t want folks getting a notice “Albatross added you to list ‘Assholes.'” Well, maybe I do, but only in a passive-aggressive way.

    1. khanseraiMay 2, 2013

      hahaha! I’ve also been using lists from the beginning which is why this change to the smart-list functionality really threw me.

      Until I find out all the details of list functionality 90% of all “Friends” are on restricted. I wonder if FB told them that? Apparently people I wrongly categorized by geography also got timeline updates saying “hk says you live here”

      And some who I unfriended sent me new friend requests within minutes


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