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Facebook begins rolling out new privacy tools

Unveiled last week, the tools are touted as helping users better manage who can see what on the social network.

Facebook began rolling out new tools this evening that it touts as helping users better manage who can see what on the social network.

Note that Facebook is not changing what settings users can pick, except for the option to block profile searches within the social network. The network has already begun phasing out this feature and soon it will be removed from everyone's profiles.

Facebook says these new changes are designed to give users more flexibility with their privacy.

"We believe that the better you understand who can see the things you share, the better your experience on Facebook can be," Sam Lessin, a director of product for Facebook, said in a statement.

As detailed last week, the new tools include Privacy Shortcuts, an updated Activity Log, and a Request and Removal tool for managing tagged photos. It also added an education feature intended to explain key concepts about sharing privacy.

A privacy setting shortcuts menu has been added to the tool bar at the top of page, letting users pick what privacy settings they want to change base on questions rather than by setting: Who can see my stuff? Who can contact me? How do I stop someone from bothering me?


The new Activity Log -- where users can review and delete their activity -- includes new tools for deleting unwanted content. In addition to a "Request and Removal" tool, users can go to the "Photos of You" tab and select multiple pictures for untagging or removal.


Facebook also added a tutorial to educate users about their privacy actions. For example, when a user hides a post from a Timeline, a message will pop up that explains that while the post is hidden on the Timeline, it will still show in other places, such as their friends' news feeds and in searches.

CNET's Donna Tam contributed to this report.