By Jon Fingas
Your Facebook page will say less about you in a few weeks. After an early sighting by consultant Matt Navarra, Meta has confirmed that it’s removing addresses, “interested in” (read: sexual orientation), political views and religion from Facebook profiles as of December 1st. The move is meant to make Facebook “easier to navigate and use,” a spokesperson told TechCrunch. If you’ve filled out any of these fields, you’ll get a notification about the change.
Other details you provide, such as your contact information and relationship status, will persist. You can download a copy of your Facebook data before December 1st if you’re determined to preserve it, and you still have control over who can see the remaining profile content.
Facebook is removing religious views and ‘interested in’ info from profiles from 1 December 2022 pic.twitter.com/SKjSrtwUwm
— Matt Navarra (@MattNavarra) November 16, 2022
The move won’t have much practical impact on usability beyond reducing scrolling in the “contact and basic info” section. It may reflect changing attitudes toward privacy, however. Facebook included these sections in the early days of social networking, when users more readily shared their more sensitive details (MySpace, anyone?). Now, however, privacy is a major concern — Meta itself has been more interested in privacy in recent years, focusing on private chats and greater security. People may be less inclined to share info on profiles in an era when online stalking and harassment are all too common.