Security Clearance Style Friend Lists on Facebook for Privacy

facebook face logoAll of my Facebook friends belong on one Friend List or another. These lists, numbered from 1 to 5, with a descriptive after the number, identifies how much access each person on it has to my Facebook content. That’s because with every post, I set the privacy setting to one or more of these targeted audiences. It’s just a little “think twice” check before I post, but it sure is effective!

I like to have fun on Facebook, but I don’t want everyone privy to all the fun, either. Not everyone is equipped to deal with all of my personality, that’s all. Now, there’s nothing I actually post that I would regret if it were put on the front page of a newspaper, though I do have sketchy content like nude drawings of me done by others for art, lol. But I neither want to subject people to stuff they don’t want, nor start some fuss over what I would consider to be nothing if I had deemed it OK to post in the first place. With these lists, I minimize these risks. And if anyone found out, they can either ask me to change it, ignore it, or unfriend me over it. The last would not be of concern to me if that all it took to provoke that reaction in anybody. That’s not the type of people I’d want to call my friend.

Value of the Friend List Classification Exercise

Even if you don’t use this method to control who sees what about your Facebook posts, doing the exercise to put everyone in a list can be quite sobering and enlightening. I basically just asked myself how little of a %#*^ I thought each person gave about what I put on Facebook and that gave me most of the answers. I had to override some to bump them up or down a clearance level, and will change people over time based on interactions or lack thereof, or if we become better friends or more distant, especially in real life.


A few times a year, I will also look through the lists to see if anyone felt like they shouldn’t belong there, and move them to the appropriate list. Certain events will also trigger the same outcome, but usually just for individuals.

New Friends Classifications

New Facebook friends added get put on one of these security clearance style lists immediately.

Public and All Friends Postings

I still make postings available to the Public, as well as All Friends, every now and then, but they’re pretty tame. I can check what each sees using Facebook’s Privacy testing tools.


On an intuitive feel, but I feel a pretty good one, I would guess only 1/4 to 1/3 of my FB friends see any given post I make. Does that qualify as anti-social media? Which is not the same thing as anti “social media”. 🙂

Give it a try!

2 thoughts on “Security Clearance Style Friend Lists on Facebook for Privacy

  1. Hey Minh!

    Great job! Just wrote a long comment about how I thought you provided some good insight and analysis into the ENFJ personality assessment, but that comment didn’t get saved!

    Long story short, Kudos! Great writing and perspective on a classical assessment modality.

    Would love to hear more about your “story”. Ciao, for now! Get back whenever you can =)


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