Searching “Following Me” on Facebook Reveals Secret Followers-Fiction!
Summary of eRumor:
By going to the “blocking” tab on Facebook and searching for the phrase “following me” a list of unwanted and/or secret followers who are monitoring your account can be revealed.
False claims that searching lists of blocked users for the phrase “following me” reveals a list of secret followers (or stalkers) is a new take on an old hoax.
A rash of posts making the “following me” claim popped up on September 21, 2017. It’s not clear where the claim started, but there are many different versions of it. Oftentimes, these posts claim that a friend or acquaintance used the “following me” trick to reveal dozens of unauthorized stalkers, mostly from foreign countries:
In reality, searching a list of blocked users for”following me” on Facebook will bring up a list of profiles containing the phrase “following me” — not a list of unwanted followers. One Facebook user proved this by changing her profile nickname to “following me.” Dozens of people who searched “following me” sent angry messages to the woman after her account turned up in their search results. Given that the woman wasn’t an actual secret follower, “following me” is nothing more than a keyword search.
This isn’t the first time this hoax has circulated either. In January 2017, a different version falsely claimed that searching blocked users for “Facebook security” revealed a list of secret stalkers. Again, this nothing more than a keyword search and doesn’t provide any measure of security.
Given that cybersecurity is a big issue on Facebook, these bogus claims can be especially dangerous. Facebook offers a number of legitimate security measures that can help users protect against unwanted followers.
For example, Facebook allows you to block individual users. Once they’re blocked, users are no longer able to see your posts, they’ll be unfriended (if they were a friend in the first place) and they won’t be able to tag you in things they post on their timeline. So, in effect, there’s no such thing as a secret follower or secret stalker.
And if you can’t find a person who you want to block, you can search for the person’s email address under the “blocking” section of the settings tab. Any account associated with that email will be blocked from following you. But typing “following me” into Facebook is nothing more than a keyword search and won’t reveal unwanted followers.