Facebook Questions: 4 Warnings Before You Start

Facebook started rolling out the updated Questions platform to all users yesterday. But before you try it, consider some privacy, search and online reputation issues.

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Fri, March 25, 2011

CIO — After more than six months since announcing the Questions platform and releasing it to a small group of users, Facebook has finally rolled it out—with some changes—to everyone.


Facebook Questions lets you pose an open-ended question to your friends or post it in poll form with choices. These polls will appear under your Questions section and in your News Feed. Your friends can then respond to the question or vote on it.

Facebook says it hopes that Questions will become your go-to source for advice when you're trying new things, such as looking for a new restaurant or deciding which movie to see. While Questions will soon be available to everyone, you can get started immediately by visiting its landing page to opt-in.

The new Facebook Questions differs from past iterations in that it focuses only on answers from your friends and your friends' friends, instead of answers from everyone on Facebook.

While Questions has the potential to be a useful resource for Facebook users—since many already ask friends questions via status updates—there are a few facts that you should understand before participating.

[Want more tips, tricks and details on Facebook privacy? Check out CIO.com's Facebook Bible.]

1. Your questions and answers are not private.

When you ask a question, initially only your Facebook friends can view and answer it. However, if one of your friends does answer it, your question becomes visible and available to all of his or her Facebook friends to answer, and so on.

Likewise, everyone will be able to see the questions that you have participated in, so only ask and answer questions that you are comfortable sharing with everyone.

Be sure to check your Facebook privacy settings: If you allow everyone to comment on your posts, your Questions will be available to everyone. In this case, responses to your questions will be filtered to show responses from your friends first.

To change your settings, visit your Privacy Settings page > Customize settings > Posts by me.


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2. You cannot edit the text of questions or posts.

Facebook does not let you edit the text of your questions or posts, but you can delete both.

To delete your question, go to the question box and click the Delete button, located in the lower right of the box. To delete question options that people voted on, go to the question box and click the "Edit options" button, located in the lower right of the box. Then, delete individual options by clicking the X beside them. Note that deleting a question option will delete associated votes for that option.

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