Skip to main content

Facebook phone contact list isn’t new – but here’s how you can remove it

phonebookFacebook introduced its Messenger app this week, and it’s stolen the spotlight. It’s being compared to BlackBerry Messenger, and called an SMS killer–generally, winning Facebook heaps of praise. Unfortunately, a user oversight that has spiraled into a viral privacy scare is also getting the social network some attention.

If you’ve been on Facebook today, you likely saw this message (or something like it) somewhere (or everywhere) in your News Feed:

“OMG this is for real everyone!!!! Warning to ALL …ALL THE PHONE NUMBERS IN YOUR PHONE are now on Facebook! No joke – go to the top right of the screen, click on Account, then click on Edit Friends, go left on the screen and click Contacts. All phone numbers are published!! Please re-post this on your Status, so you r friends can remove their numbers and thus prevent abuse if they do not want them published.”

The general conclusion was that the new Messenger application had something to do with this Facebook phone book, but that is not the case. Your friends’ numbers have been synced to Facebook for awhile–a long while. Either your friends have added their phone numbers to their own profiles or you have one of the Facebook smartphone apps, which automatically syncs with your phone’s address book. You are the only one who can see this compilation of your friends’ phone numbers.

There you have it: Another Facebook freak out over a function that, in this case, was already there. But if it’s just being brought to your attention and you’re none-too-pleased about it, there is a fix. Like the over-hyped message reads, go to Account and then Edit Friends. Click Contacts, which is on the top left. Read the following message click the “visit this page” link. From there, follow the “Remove Imported Contacts” instructions. 

Editors' Recommendations

Molly McHugh
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Before coming to Digital Trends, Molly worked as a freelance writer, occasional photographer, and general technical lackey…
Your iPhone just got a new iOS update, and you should download it right now
iPhone 15 Pro display with iPhone 15 Pro Max in background.

Apple has just released a new security update, iOS 17.4.1. This comes a little over two weeks after iOS 17.4, which was a big update. iOS 17.4.1 doesn't add any new features, but it's still an important update you'll want to download as soon as you can.

With iOS 17.4.1, Apple states that the update “provides important bug fixes and security updates and is recommended for all users.” Apple doesn’t mention any specifics of these bug fixes, but more details on what this security update addresses may be revealed at a later date.

Read more
The DOJ has sued Apple over the iPhone. Here’s what it means for you
The Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max and iPhone 14 Pro seen from the back.

Apple iPhone 14 Pro (left) and iPhone 15 Pro Max Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

If you're reading this article, chances are you have an iPhone. It's also quite likely that your friends and family members also use an iPhone. The iPhone is the smartphone of choice for millions of people in the U.S., and now, the Department of Justice (DOJ) is suing Apple over the iPhone monopoly it has established over the years.

Read more
How to get new emojis on your iPhone or Android device
Emoji reactions on Google Messages running on OnePlus 11.

Text messaging has quickly become the default form of communication on smartphones. Sure, you can give your buddy a call to update them on your plans for the weekend, but it's not quite as quick and streamlined as a simple text. And combined with the ever-growing library of emojis available on iPhone and Android, it's easier than ever to ensure your tone and true meaning are received loud and clear by your recipient.

Read more