If you haven’t heard by now, Facebook recently modified the default privacy settings for all accounts. I paid this little heed, since, when I was prompted to, I merely accepted my previous privacy settings. Which were pretty good.
Unfortunately, I didn’t realize that Facebook had removed some items out from my control. The one that bothered me the most is that I no longer have an option to control who sees my friend list. Now, I’m no paranoid recluse, but I think this change is an affront to my privacy. Plain and simple.
Fortunately, the “crowd” was there to help. A quick Google search led me to hundreds of pages of people asking the same question:
“With the new privacy settings, how do I prevent others from seeing my Facebook friend list?“
A short and sweet comment on Yahoo! Answers gave me what I believe is the only solution under the current privacy rules. On your profile page, scroll down to your friend list. Look for the pencil icon and click it. Modify the settings to suit your privacy needs (the screen capture below shows what I decided was best for me).
What’s a shame about having to do this is that now nobody (even friends) can see my friend list. This eliminates the ability for one of my friends to find new contacts based on my friend list. But this is a necessary casualty of what I hope are temporary limits on Facebook’s privacy controls.
Update: I also discovered that CNET published a blog earlier today with similar instructions.