Short: Meta, in an effort to make Facebook easier to navigate and use, will remove several fields from user profiles starting next month. From December 1, Facebook profiles will no longer highlight religious views, political views, sexual orientation (“interests”) and user addresses.
Social media consultant Matt Navarra was the first to report the changes, which were later confirmed by numerous publications, including TechCrunch.
In an email to the tech site confirming the pending changes, a Facebook spokesperson said they were sending notifications to users who completed the fields. A Facebook representative also noted that there is nothing preventing a user from sharing information related to these fields elsewhere on the platform.
Change is a sign of the times and probably long overdue. When the social network launched in the mid-2000s, online privacy wasn’t as big an issue as it is today. The Internet in general was also much more modest back then, as online bullying and harassment did not reach the level it does today.
Other popular social platforms, including TikTok and Instagram, allow users to share some details about themselves without getting too specific.
Matt has been having a hard time lately. After hitting a high of more than $378 in September 2021, the company’s shares are currently down more than 70 percent to $111.12.
Just last week, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that the company was cutting about 13 percent of its workforce, or about 11,000 employees, in an effort to become smaller and more efficient. Zuckerberg said Meta will also extend a hiring freeze for the first quarter of its fiscal year and cut discretionary spending.
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“I want to take responsibility for these decisions and how we got here. I know it’s hard for everyone, and I’m especially sorry for those affected.” Zuckerberg said, adding that it was one of the most difficult decisions they had to make in the company’s history.
The changes to the Facebook profile will take effect from December 1.
Image credit: George Pagan III, Sandeep Kalal