I get asked this question more times than I can remember - How can I stop someone from seeing a specific status update on Facebook?

There are usually two reasons - an ex lover/bestfriend OR a surprise!

Stop my ex from seeing my Facebook status updates

As a permanent solution, I've talked about the Restricted List on Facebook before.

This is where someone asks to be your friend and you feel uncomfortable saying no but don't want them to be able to see everything that you are up to on Facebook. So you accept their friendship request but put them onto the Restricted List. This means they only see status updates that you make Public. If you have your privacy set to Friends Only, they will not see any of your posts. Read this blog post to find out how to put friends onto the Restricted List.

Of course, you could just unfriend them!

If they're really persistent, then you can block a user so they cannot even see your page. See about half way down in the Unfriend post for how to block people on Facebook.

Post to Friends Except Acquaintances on Facebook

friends except acquaintancesIf you want to be sure that only your closer friends see a status update, you need to ensure that you split your friends into Close Friends, Friends or Acquaintances.

Those people you want to exclude from the more personal stuff can be made Acquaintances. Then, when you make a post, you can change your privacy from Friends Only to Friends Except Acquaintances.

Only your Friends and Close Friends will see the status udpdate.

You do this using the Privacy settings area next to the Post button on your status update. There is a drop down menu where you can select who you want the post to go out to. Be aware that this can change the settings for all future posts though so you may have to change it back to Friends next time you post.

New Call-to-action

Organise a surprise party on Facebook so that the birthday person doesn't find out

It could be that you are arranging a special event like a birthday and want it to be a surprise. You don't want a particular person to see any status updates relating to the party. Custom Privacy settings are ideal for this. You can exclude the person you want to celebrate from seeing those particular status updates.

And, more importantly, you can switch it off again so they don't suddenly wonder why they are not seeing any of your posts about other matters.

Custom Privacy Settings - exclude people from seeing a Facebook status update

custom privacy - exclude people from seeing a Facebook status updateHowever, if you only want this to apply to one particular status update and one particular friend, you can use the same privacy settings menu to select Custom.

A new pop up will appear and where it says 'Don't Share With' there is a field that you can fill out with lists and particular individuals.

In the example, you can see that I have added Acquaintances and Jon Law. Acquaintances was left over from the previous command for privacy that I had set - Friends Except Acquaintances. So Acquaintances is automatically included in the box not to be shared with. I could have removed the Acquaintances - by clicking the x next to it - and just added a list of names.

Adding names to custom privacy don't share with

You just click in the box/field next to 'These people or lists' and start to type the first few letters of the name of the person you don't want to share with. I typed 'J o n' and Jon's name appeared in a drop down menu. I clicked on that and it appeared in the box with an x next to it. If you get it wrong, click the x and the name will be deleted.

Adding Lists to custom privacy don't share with

I could also have added the Restricted List by starting to type R e s and it will appear in a drop down.

Remember, setting custom privacy can become your default setting so you will need to change it back to Friends next time you post a status update if you no longer wish to exclude that person.

Find out more about using Facebook effectively for your business.