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How Facebook Tags Work
While most of us probably associate Facebook tags with photos, that’s only half the story. You can also be tagged in posts, a feature often used when posting gatherings with friends or family members. Sometimes spammers and marketers tag you in messages, especially from compromised accounts.
These tags are all displayed on your timeline by default. They will appear under your name, photo and bio information on your main profile. When a friend, family member, or colleague looks at your profile, they can see messages you’ve been tagged in by scrolling down.
You can be tagged by friends, or you can be tagged by strangers. Once you’re tagged in a post, your name will be visible to anyone who has permission to view that post. If the post is public, it can appear as public content on your profile (meaning anyone, friends or not, can see it).
If your account is set up so that search engines can find you and link you directly to your profile, a potential employer doing a background check may come across any public posts that you are tagged in.
One thing that won’t show up on your timeline is individual comments you’ve been tagged in. So if your friend tags you in the comment section of a funny photo to draw your attention to it, the post won’t show up on your profile.
Enable Timeline Review to manually approve tags
Fortunately, you can take control of these tags and manually approve what’s shown on your timeline. By doing this, you can view anything that appears on your profile, avoid spam or unflattering photos, while also embracing the messages you want to show your friends.
To do this, log in to your Facebook account on the internet at Facebook.com or via the mobile app for your platform of choice.
Turn on Timeline Review on Facebook.com
If you are using the website, please log in to the Facebook website first. Click the downward pointing arrow in the top right corner of the news feed.
In the menu that appears, click “Settings and Privacy” and then select “Settings” to display the full menu.
Click on the “Profile and Tagging” section in the sidebar on the left side of the screen.
Under the Rate section at the bottom of the screen, enable “Rate posts you were tagged in before the post appears on your profile?” by clicking the Edit button.
While you’re here, you might also want to enable the “Review tags that people add to your posts before the tags appear on Facebook?” option to gain even more control over who can see your posts.
Turn on Timeline review on mobile
On mobile, the process is a bit different, but just as easy. After logging in, go to Facebook settings from the “More” tab in the bottom right corner of the screen.
Tap “Settings and Privacy” followed by “Settings” to see the full list of available options.
Under Audience & Visibility, tap Profile & Tagging.
Under the ‘Rate’ section, check the box labeled ‘Rate posts you’re tagged in before the post appears on your profile?’ option to enable Timeline Review. You may also want to enable the ‘Review tags that people add to your posts before the tags appear on Facebook’. option for even more control.
The tagging process will remain the same for your friends and they will not receive a notification that you have hidden or approved the tag on your profile. When they visit your profile, they can see exactly what you’re tagged in, just like the rest of your friends list.
Using timeline review
When Timeline Review is enabled, you will be notified of all posts in which you have been tagged with the option to approve or hide the tag. If you approve a tag, it will appear in your profile, while choosing “hide” will hide the message.
This won’t stop you from being tagged on Facebook, but it will prevent these tags from appearing directly on your profile.
You can access Timeline Review directly through the web and mobile interfaces. To do this in a browser on Facebook.com, first click the down arrow in the top right corner. Then choose Settings and privacy, followed by Activity log. Click on “Timeline, photo and tag review” to see any open posts.
On mobile with the Facebook app, tap the “More” tab in the bottom right corner of the screen, then tap your name at the top of the screen to see your profile. Tap the ellipsis “…” icon to see more options, followed by “Rate posts and tags” to see all pending posts.
How to delete old posts you are tagged in
Timeline review doesn’t work retroactively, so anything you’ve already been tagged in will persist. Fortunately, you can still remove items you’ve been tagged in from your timeline, although you will have to do this manually by post.
To do this, open your profile via the web or mobile. Scroll down to see all the posts you’ve been tagged in, and click (or tap) the ellipse “…” button next to the post.
Choose “Hide in Profile” from the menu that appears and the message will no longer be displayed. Keep in mind that the post hasn’t completely disappeared and only the profile that posted the post can change or remove its visibility.
If you are more concerned about the message, such as if you think it will reveal information about you that you prefer to keep private, you can click the ‘Find support or report message’ button. You can find many other options, such as ‘Bullying’ and ‘Harassment’, under the ‘Something else’ button.
Take control of your Facebook profile
Facebook is a powerful tool you can use to host events, keep in touch with old friends, and even find a job. The service can also be an issue especially if you have friends tagging and posting with reckless abandon.
With Timeline Review and the ability to remove tags and posts from your timeline, you can take back a bit of control by manually approving what appears on your profile.
If you’re a big Facebook user but haven’t set up emergency contacts yet, learn how to avoid login issues by nominating friends to vouch for you in case your account is compromised.