Controlling Tags to Control Facebook Privacy!

It’s time to take control of who can tag you in Facebook photos, videos, posts and places!

A common question I get asked was recently posed by reader Vivek Baghel, who kindly wrote..

Hi….Kimberly would you plz help me ! I have facebook account & I wanna stop tagging pic to me ! Actually I did setting to stop taggin pic on me but even people tag me pics very easily ! so plz help me in this matter ! I wanna stop tagging pics on my facebook profile.

Great question!

But unfortunately, you’re not necessarily going to like the answer!

Before we delve too far into steps we can take to control tagging of your Facebook profile… the honest truth is that you can not explicitly PREVENT tagging of your profile by friends.

What you CAN do however is minimize the reach and visibility of the item and manually remove the tag ourselves.

There are a couple steps involved:

(You’re likely to notice that these steps were changed recently due to Facebook attempting to streamline their privacy options.)

1. Start By Getting Your Facebook Tagging Settings Right

a) In the upper right hand corner of your screen you will see a tiny drop-down arrow. Click that and click “Privacy Settings”.

b) In the “Privacy Settings” page, scroll down and click “Edit Settings” to the right of “Timeline and Tagging”

c) In the “Timeline and Tagging” pop-up you will see a number of important settings that you may want to adjust.

This screenshot shows a lot of strict control. I do not usually keep mine this tight. This image is for demonstration purposes.

d) Set “Review posts friends tag you in before they appear on your timeline” to “On”

e) Set “Review tags friends add to your own posts on Facebook” to “On”.

This setting applies to photos YOU upload and to your friends ability to add tags of their friends to your photos. (I personally leave this review off.)

f) The setting “Who sees tag suggestions when photos that look like you are uploaded” should be on “No One” if you are trying to discourage tagging of yourself.

2. Keeping Content That Tags Us Off of Our Timeline Unless We Approve It

a) In step #1 we enabled the “Review posts friends tag you in before they appear on your timeline”… now lets see how it works.

b) When a friend tags you in a item (photo, video, status or place) you will receive a notification… (This works regardless of what whether it’s an image/face tag or a “with” tag etc.)

c) In case you miss the notification, a notification light will also be added to the “Activity Log” button under your profile cover.

d) Clicking on either the notification (in “b”) or the Activity notification (in “c”) will take you to the Activity Log where you can review the item and either Approve or Dismiss the entry (or bulk approve all using the larger approve button at the top).

e) Security Information: Until you approve these entries they will not appear on YOUR wall or go down the newsfeed to be seen by your friends. However… they will still be posted on the wall of the individual that did the tagging and be seen by their friends (and by any mutual friends).

3. Removing Errant Tags

Often times, what we REALLY want to do, is to get that tag OFF of the image/item that has been tagged.

While we can not preemptively keep an item from being tagged we can easily remove the tag.

This is one place that having notification of tags enabled and being sent to our email or smartphones can help us stay by allowing us to stay on top of quickly removing offending tags.

a) From the Activity Log, rather than approving/dismissing, click on the item itself. (In our example above, we would click on the thumbnail of the flower).

b) Once we have the item opened, in the lower row of options we will see one labled “Options”…. click on that and select “Report/Remove Tag”.

c) The “Report/Remove Tag” option will bring up a dialog box that will let us quickly and easily remove the tag… and optionally request that the image be taken down by the poster.

d) One final popup tells us that the tag has been successfully removed

e) Security Information: Removing the tag will remove the item from your timeline, from showing to your friends in their timeline, and from displaying the tag to the friends of the poster in the poster’s timeline. However, because it happens AFTER the original posting, some people did see it for a while.


While we can easily control what gets posted on our profiles and what goes down our newsfeed to OUR friends… we can only react to (and remove) tags that we do not approve of after they are posted by others and seen by their friends.

Remember that the “Marketers’ Model” is not the actual model used (or intended use of) Facebook. Sometimes those of us that do extensive networking with people that are not truly our real friends find ourselves wanting to kick the service!

However, for the average Joe/Jane, any average father/mother, their connections will be their true close circle of friend plus some random classmates. The tagging problems experienced by marketers do not create the same scale of problems that they do for us… and thus, the settings are geared for them (not us).

This guide will help you adjust your privacy settings in a way to maximize control and minimize tagging of your profile.

Please keep in mind that if you are representing a business (or blog) that overly tight permissions can make you hard to recommend to others.

These settings will become more important in the upcoming weeks now that applications have just received the ability to perform mention tagging.

Have you ever experienced unwanted tagging?

Please share this with your friends, family, and community to help them stay safe and informed online!

PS: You might consider hitting the print button above and printing pages 1-5 of this post to hand to family members.

Read more: