Understanding Facebook Friends’ Lists And Your Privacy


Facebook has become such an important part of social life that a Facebook snub can ruin friendships and relationships. There was a time when we questioned if we should add our boss or a colleague on Facebook but no one stops to ask that any more. Fortunately, Facebook gives us a pretty great way to manage our privacy without it appearing that we’ve snubbed anyone; lists. Lists are your way of keeping track of how you know people and managing what they can see but what are you doing when you add someone to the ‘Restricted list? We take a look at Facebook lists and what they are for in this post.


Before we get into any detail, we want to set your mind at ease. No one knows what list you add them to. You can create a ‘People I hate’ list and add people to them (though it’s probably a better idea to just unfriend them) and they will have no idea. Now, on to the lists.

Auto-Generated Based On Work & Education History

These are auto-generated based on where people work or have studied. Since you are highly likely to add people you’ve worked with or attended school with, these lists are generated automatically and as you add more people who have attended the same institutes, they are automatically added to these lists.

Privacy: Everything you share on Facebook is visible to them (unless a certain list is explicitly excluded)

News Feed: Updates from members of such lists do no appear more frequently or less frequently than other friends.


This list is not meant to protect privacy. It is meant to refine your News Feed. No one is ever added to it automatically like with the work and school lists. This list is best suited for people you don’t care to hear from/about very frequently; that one annoying aunt, that guy who lived next door when you were six and had a pet rock, the girl who shares Twilight photos all the time. They are able to view everything you share.

Privacy: All public posts, photos, friends’ list, and complete personal information.

News Feed: You will not see a lot of updates from people in this list

Close Friends

Like Acquaintances, this list is meant to filter your news feed and will not apply any sort of restriction or give any additional access to your information to the people who are included in it. This list is for people you care to view more updates from. It is separate from the Family list though for some reason Facebook insists you add people in the Family list to this list as well.

Privacy: Everything you share on Facebook is visible to people in Close Friends

News Feed: You see more updates from people in this list

Limited Profile

By default, the Limited Profile list isn’t going to block any content you share on Facebook. Instead, what it does is it gives you a list that you can later restrict from viewing when you next share anything. We would recommend adding anyone you don’t want to share too much with to this list. It may or may not include your co-workers and boss.

Privacy: Cannot see items that have been restricted from viewing for the Limited Profile list unless they are tagged in the post

News Feed: This list has no effect on the updates you see from the people in it, however, you will see fewer updates then you would from people in Close Friends or Acquaintances list.


This is possibly the only list that is meant to keep some of the things you share private without you having to set it up first. If you often ‘call in sick’ from work, this is the list to put your boss/immediate supervisor in. If you get caught up in something and are unable to attend your friend’s one year old’s birthday party, that friend should be in this list.

Privacy: Only public posts are visible. Only current personal information is visible. People in this list cannot see where you worked in the past or which school you attended.

News Feed: No effect.