Link to private facebook pages?

do we have a policy about linking to private facebook pages?
Do we want to?

On occasion I click on a facebook link from an artist’s profile, and I get a “this page isn’t available. The link you followed may be broken [etc]” page.

Apparently, this is what facebook does these days when I try to read certain pages, but I don’t have a facebook account.

So, without a facebook account, these “private” pages look the same as broken URLs to me.

So, is/should there be a policy about linking to such “private”/“semi-private”/whatever pages?

1 Like

This was actually discussed some time ago, and it was decided that we shouldn’t link to artists’ social media accounts if they’ve set them to private.


Also, if anyone can provide info or a link about what “private” is in facebook-terms, and about whether there’s multiple levels of privacy (i.e. “public” vs “semi-private” vs “fully private”) for a page, that’d be a helpful aid to this discussion.

Not being a facebook user myself, it’s hard to really know what I’m talking about.


I don’t link to the social media accounts unless they are official accounts (the ones with the check marks), used to promote their art, or unless I find the link somewhere else.

Some people do have a life outside of music. So I can respect that someone’s social media is for family and friends. But it is hard to say “I want my privacy” when you are at a bar in front of 200 people telling us to look you up on Facebook, or your guitar string endorsement page directs me to your Twitter.

1 Like

I don’t pretend to know the technical terms used between MB and FB, but here are three examples -

If you are not a member or not signed in, each one of those 3 gives you a different amount of availability.

1 Like

And privacy isn’t just about people who are not Facebook members.
You can play the “connection game” as to who can see what - meaning, you can make it so that only certain people can see what you write.
It could be public, or just for friends, or friends of friends, or even just specific people.

You can’t find me, link to me, talk to me, request me…
unless you know someone who knows me.

I think it is the simplest when you are a non-FB account MB editor.
If you can see the page, you can link it.


Yeah, those three illustrate the three situations I’m familiar with. The first one gives me the “page not found” message (and it’s apparently a full-fledged HTTP 404). The second gives me a “sign in to facebook to get to know this person” The third one gives me a (mostly-)fully-viewable facebook page.

Out of curiousity – what does the first one show to someone who’s logged in to facebook but not a friend?

A normal user page with only their public stuff visible.

Whoa – as a logged-in-but-not-friend facebook user, you see the same amount/level of stuff for that first larry.sadler.18 account as for the “thejohnsmith” account?
Or am I misunderstanding you?

As far as I can tell, pretty much, yeah.

Wow… makes me wonder how many of the people who set up their page that way really want it set up that way/realized that that would be the result.

“I want people I don’t know who are logged in to facebook to see all kinds of information about/from me, but people who aren’t logged in to facebook should get a message that my page doesn’t exist”

Doesn’t seem like the settings a lot of people would want. Unless you’re a facebook employee/shareholder who’s trying to get them more users.


Anyways, here’s the edit that I want to do that prompted this thread:

People who aren’t logged in to Facebook includes search engines.
Do you want every picture of your child that you posted for your sister (who is in Asia doing missionary work) to see, to be found via a Google search?

1 Like

It would be easy for a search bot to log in to some account of theirs.

But, IIRC, against Facebook’s TOS, so unlikely to be done by the bigger, “legit” players like Google, Yahoo!, and Microsoft.


A lot of sites give you added functionality for signing up/logging in, and I don’t think we should limit the use of links with potentially good information because of it.

In terms of privacy I think that needs to be done on a case by case basis - artists can set their own privacy settings on FB, and sometimes a private page might be worth linking. I don’t think links should be removed just because the editor doesn’t have Facebook.

1 Like

Huh… and here’s a fourth variant:
It gives me the “You must log in to continue” page as opposed to the 404 page-not-found.

1 Like

Hmm… good point… yeah, I guess spiders/bots are in a different category from (human-)people-I-don’t-know.

However, I still suspect that most facebook users want both those categories to have the same permissions.

In the case of the pictures-of-my-family personal facebook page, I imagine most people would want both categories to have no access.

In the case of a musician or someone who’s using facebook for publicity, I think they’d usually want both categories to have full (read) access.

Relatedly, I wonder how often a note to the musician of “Hey, FYI, you know your page is sorta private” would be useful.