How to Delete Stuff from Facebook Timeline

The new Facebook Timeline has many Facebook users in a tizzy. I, for one, abhor it and deleted my account earlier this week.  However, before I decided to delete it, I took the time to try and delete things from the past on my timeline. I wanted to delete all of the things I posted before I knew what “lists” were and before I knew how to manage my personal brand online. I joined Facebook in June 2008 and I was sure that there were many photos of me out with my girlfriends that I either posted or was tagged in that I didn’t want to be on my permanent Facebook record. Not that any of them were really bad, but I just decided that people don’t need to know personal things about me that I carelessly and previously shared unknowing that the day of Timeline would come.

As usual, the UI and tutorial are not all that transparent. For example, I never accepted those posts from family members that said “I just confirmed that we’re related” from the Family Tree app, yet if I was tagged in them prior to September 2011 when you could review tags, they showed up in my timeline – ugh. I deleted the app and supposedly all posts from that app from my timeline, but when I hit refresh, they were still there for a while. Apparently it takes Facebook a few minutes to catch up with you – which just makes you wonder, did you really get rid of it??

I’ll show you step by step in a minute, but I also want to warn you about photos. Incriminating photos can hurt you in a job interview or a future job interview. But it doesn’t have to be a drinking photo, it can be a picture of your new baby and you could be getting back in the job market after you just had a kid. It’s illegal for a potential employer to ask you if you have children, but nothing it stopping them from checking out your Timeline on Facebook and then disqualifying you because “you weren’t  a good fit”. And photos are a bit harder to get rid of.  I’ll go into this a bit more below.

Steps to delete stuff from timeline:

Note: You can remove anything from your timeline, but if you want to permanently delete it, you have to go an extra mile – literally.

  1. You can hover over the item in the timeline and depending what it is, you can hide from timeline or delete post.
  2.  Additionally, if it is a photo or a series of events like “Likes” or “Photos”, then you can review individually and that’s where the extra mile comes in.  For photos, you have to click on each photo and remove the tag which will automatically remove it from your timeline.

There’s a misconception out there also about who can see what’s on your timeline. For example, if you shared a private post with someone. a list or limited your post to a select group of people, then only the people who were on the original post can see it. You can see everything in your Timeline, but not everyone else can see everything. Everyone else can only see what was public.

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About Tracy Sestili

Tracy Sestili is CEO and Chief blogger at Social Strand Media. She is also the author of Taking Your Brand from the Bench to the Playing Field -- Social Media Fundamentals for Business.