Brace yourself: Facebook spam is coming


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Facebook’s rolling out its changes to your inbox today, among other privacy changes you’ll see at the top right-hand side of your Facebook screen, called “privacy shortcuts.”

The biggest change to messages: anyone can send you a message now, not just your friends. That opens the door to unwanted pestering from advertisers, companies, spammers, and the dreaded “random person you don’t know sending you awkward/creepy stuff” situation.

And what’s more, Facebook is testing a system where a non-friend can pay $1 to make sure their message shows up in your main inbox, making it impossible to ignore. 

Previously, people you didn’t know either couldn’t message you, or if they did, their messages would get lost in the black hole known as the “Other” inbox. Lots of people don’t even know they have an “Other” inbox. If you’re on Facebook, go check it out: it’s the link to the right of your regular inbox. You probably have a bunch of weird messages you never knew existed.

Facebook privacy shortcuts

Now you’ll get everything that anyone sends you, and it’ll be filtered to either your main inbox or the “Other” one.

Follow these steps to keep the random/spammy messages to a minimum and focus on hearing from the people you actually care about:

Step 1: On your Facebook home page, click on “Messages” on the lefthand side of the screen. You’ll be taken to your inbox.

Step 2: Click on the “Other” inbox on the top left of your screen, next to your main inbox.

Step 3: Click the “Edit Preferences” link.

Step 4: A window will pop up titled “Message Filtering Preferences.” Make sure you select “Strict Filtering,” then hit the “Save” button.

Facebook strict filtering

Facebook recommends that you use the less-protective “Basic Filtering” and let more people you don’t know message you, which seems like the direct opposite of what regular people would want.

Today’s changes are the direct result of Facebook’s November 2012 policy overhaul, which Facebook was able to make because the required 300 million users didn’t vote against it. It’s yet another step in Facebook’s gradual erosion of people’s online privacy.

What do you think of the new privacy controls? Are they an upgrade or downgrade (or Like or Dislike, more appropriately)?

11 Replies to “Brace yourself: Facebook spam is coming”

  1. Byron Miller says:

    this is another invasion of privacy. there are other social networking sites online. May be time to shut Facebook off and switch to another social site which will protect my privacy. Google Circle is one of them. Abine Do Not Track and Ad Block work just fine on it.

  2. FaceBook has forgotten their roots. One of the reasons they crushed MySpace was because FB had much better privacy controls. And in the beginning the closed-loop email system was a big, big deal.

  3. Wow. What a dumb move – or I should say ANOTHER dumb move by FaceBook. One of the reasons they crushed MySpace in the early years was because FB had much better privacy controls. Also, how does this fall within CanSpam guidelines?

  4. Jonathan says:

    One problem with that….
    An individual person within Facebook has deliberately removed “Edit Preferences” from “Other” messages.

    The individuals responsible should know better than to hide their own personal insecurities within the Tribe they supposedly (Honorably) support.

    I followed your instructions, and could find said setting. Only “Mark all as read.” remains.

  5. Niki Fontenot says:

    How Do I find out if someone has put some sort of spyware on my computer allowing them to track my online activity?

  6. Raymond Kwong says:

    I greatly dislike Facebook’s new November policy because it allows a lot more people to see personal information as the ‘Only Me’ option was removed from several of them.

  7. Widy Prasetyo says:

    I received few messages in the inbox from people I do not know, most of it is an invitation to join the activities I love.

    In the meantime, I was not bothered at all & will keep taking its default settings of Facebook.

  8. Cami says:

    Since Facebook has changed I have receive way to many spams in my regular emails. On some of the emails if you can’t opt out. Write to them and tell them to remove your email from all of their data banks including any and all affiliate’s. And then inform them that you have a file on them and if it continues you will file a Civil Suit against them for harassment via email. I has worked get on many of them. Just about any web site and email can be sold to any one. There is a link (sorry I can’t remember it) That is like a do not call not just for phone but also regular email address, in addition to this there is also one for junk mail in your mail box. The Post offices count each piece of mail every month or so. If it has a return address on the item I write return to sender. The sender not only has to pay to mail you their junk the have to PAY to get their JUNK back. This also helps to keep the jobs open for the US Post Offices. So send your junk mail back to the sender. Just think if you were a mail person and your job was on the line due to lack of business. If every one did this it would keep you in a job. Which are hard to find today.. HAPPY POSTING TO GET RID OF STUFF.. 🙂 🙂

  9. Sotea prince says:

    Shit…many people will gonna get trouble dis will be very popular…Is there available anti spum software for mobile.?

  10. Anne Johnson says:

    I am all in favor of the “other” designation. I have used it myself to help people (as a volunteer family-finder I help adult adoptees search for biological relatives). One sister was VERY grateful and pleased to contact her brother and one adoptee lied to me and said “I’m not the one you’re looking for.” I won’t be asking her again. I have ethics.


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