Viewing Story

The facts on Facebook Phone Numbers

Posted by on 12/08/2011


Facebook rumors and poor PR have resulted in FB users believing that their stored phone numbers are being made public without their permission. Here is the break down on what’s real and what’s not. 

Like many other false claims, this one started with a status going around, saying the following:

ALL THE PHONE NUMBERS IN YOUR PHONE are now on Facebook! No joke -go to the top right of the screen, click on Account, then click on Edit Friends, go left on the screen and click on Contacts. All phone numbers are published!! Please repost this on your Status, so your friends can remove their numbers and thus prevent abuse if they do not want them published. THIS IS REAL!!!

So let’s break it down and separate fact from fiction.

A contact list always existed

Facebook contacts has always been around since the introduction of their mobile apps, with friends’ numbers being stored if they chose to publish it. This means if I chose to store my number on Facebook, it would then be listed in my friends’ phonebook. You can also import entire contact list from your mobile phone to facebook via the app, but you have to authorize the app to do such a task. the phonebook only came to light because of the introduction of a redesigned chat sidebar, but to note again, the phonebook has been there for a very long time.

who sees what?

just like a cellphone, the only people who see your contact list is you and you alone. your friends cannot view your phonebook, so there is no need to panic about others viewing your entire phonebook. it is unclear how this rumor started, but it has now spread out of control, causing unnecessary panic among its user base.

what you can do

for one, users need to stop panicking over a non-existent situation. however, if users feel that they wish to remove their number from their profile, they can either change their privacy levels to vary who can or cannot see your phone number, or just remove it once and for all.

More in Computing, Featured, Policies/Ethics (19 of 70 articles)