In brief: Meta in a bid to make Facebook easier to navigate and use will be removing several fields from users’ profiles starting next month. From December 1, Facebook profiles will no longer highlight a user’s religious views, their political views, their sexual orientation (“interested in”) and addresses.
Social media consultant Matt Navarra was the first to report on the change, which has since been confirmed by multiple publications including TechCrunch.
In an e-mail to the tech site confirming the pending changes, a Facebook spokesperson said they are sending notifications to users that have the fields populated. The Facebook rep further noted that there is nothing stopping a user from sharing information related to these fields elsewhere on the platform.
The changes are a sign of the times and probably long overdue. When the social network launched in the mid-2000s, online privacy was not nearly as big of a concern as it is today. The Internet overall was far tamer back then as well, as online bullying and harassment had not matured to modern levels.
Other popular social platforms including TikTok and Instagram allow users to share some details about themselves but don’t get overly specific with the particulars.
It has been tough going for Meta as of late. After hitting a high of more than $378 in September 2021, company shares are currently trading down more than 70 percent at $111.12 as of writing.
Just last week, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the company would be parting ways with about 13 percent of its workforce, or around 11,000 employees, in an effort to become leaner and more efficient. Zuckerberg said Meta would also be extending its hiring freeze through the first quarter of its fiscal year and trimming discretionary spending.
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“I want to take accountability for these decisions and for how we got here. I know this is tough for everyone, and I’m especially sorry to those impacted.” Zuckerberg said, adding that it was among the most difficult decisions they’ve made in company history.
Facebook’s profile changes will go into effect starting December 1.
Image credit: George Pagan III, Sandip Kalal