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Facebook is engaged in limited testing of a new feature known as the Happening Now sidebar and the beta sidebar alerts offers comprehensive status updates in real-time, including what their friends are sharing, who they are friending, along with other status updates in real-time.The Happening Now toolbar sits to the right of a user’s newsfeed and scrolls through updates in real-time, automatically refreshing and emphasized by past previously launched features like real-time commenting…………


Facebook is currently testing a new version of the news feed that displays liking and commenting activity by a user’s friends in real time and it’s odd that it would show up directly next to the most recent feed. Docked to the right hand side of the screen, it displays real-time updates from your friends, such as wall posts, comments and check-in information, allowing users to see how their friends are interacting with one another all from the main screen. However, users have taken to Twitter to blow the whistle on a major bug with the feature not fully rolled out to the 700 million users, involving friends permissions.


European regulators are looking into Facebook’s method of delivery on the facial recognition features made available to users on Tuesday. Three users, @dezinezync, @benjacob and @hackatac who discovered the bug, explained to me on Twitter the implications:

“Say a user’s photos are viewable to friends only, and this user is not in my friends list. If a friend of mine comments on the photo of that user, I can see it from the ‘Happening Now’ feed.”


There appears to be a permissions error where those who are not in their friends list can see photos of people, even though the album is restricted to who can see it. Effectively, if your Facebook privacy settings are not locked down, it’s a “wild west scene for all to see”, another discovering user described. For now, you can limit this bug by setting your permissions on Facebook to ‘friends only’, as it is unclear how far this bug spreads, or whether it goes beyond photos only. Facebook told The Next Web:

“We are currently testing a feature within the news feed that gives people the ability to see what their friends are commenting on and liking, as these actions are being taken on Facebook.

This test includes a small percentage of Facebook users, just a fraction of a percent. In the coming weeks, as we learn more from this test, we’ll keep making improvements and may expand it to more people.”


While this is not yet a fully rolled-out feature only featuring on a select number of profiles this permissions error is indicative of a permissions error which could fall deeper into the site. Spokesperson Jaime Schopflin told me that Facebook refutes this ‘bug’, and that “this is how photos work”. “When a person tags their friend in a photo, the photo is posted to their friend’s Wall where their friends can see it.” Users can disable this feature by unchecking the “Let friends of people tagged in my photos and posts see them” option in the main Facebook privacy settings.



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  On June 12, 2011(5 years, 11 months ago.)

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What Do You Think?

50 Responses

  1. Terence Towles Canote Says:

    To me the Happening Now ticker is a total fail. The posts that appear in the ticker cannot be filtered and it is difficult to scroll up and down. This would not be so bad if, whether as part of a glitch or part of the test, my Most Recent filter and all other filters for the news feed have not disappeared. Now my news feed is a total mess. It’s not secret most of us in Facebook’s test of the Happening Now feature hate it and hate that our Most Recent and other filters are gone. That’s a bad sign for Facebook if they want to go ahead and implement it.

    Posted on June 27th, 2011 at 8:15 PM

  2. Margaret Neil Says:

    As a testie, I hate it. It is full of bugs. You can’t scroll, it just a repeat of the general feed! FB lies about the privacy rules, I can see posts my friends make to people who are not on my friends list and if I click on the post I can see the non friends answers and it is the same for pictures. There are so many bugs with this it crazy and us testers not only not asked to be a part of this mess, we are not allowed to voice are problems.  There is no way to ask for help or to fix the errors happening on our pages, the list are many. Me I lost friends on chat, so I can’t see who is online, you can’t see who’s birthday or coming events and my page freezes all the time. Many lost most recent so your feeds are hours, days and weeks old. But hey if you use your phone for FB happening now might be cool but for the ones who use a PC well you are screwed. 

    Posted on June 29th, 2011 at 3:07 PM

  3. Melinda Gould Says:

    Happening Now is a disaster!  I’m a FB guinea pig/lab rat. This is my opinion of the new design:

    I’m not a pervert, but it’s turning me into a gawker and a stalker. I HATE IT!!  Privacy is out the window.  I don’t twitter or tweet.  I don’t have an ipad.  I don’t have a smart phone.  I HATE the Twitter feed. HATE IT HATE IT HATE IT.   I’m looking for someplace else to share information with my friends, something that is user friendly, doesn’t have stalkers and trolls lurking at every corner, and doesn’t make me crazy!.  Did I tell you I hate Happening Now?  Well, I do.  There’s nothing good about it.  July 1st is deactivate FB day.  It can’t get here soon enough.

    Posted on June 29th, 2011 at 3:23 PM

  4. Cynthia Says:

    ” Happening Now” needs to be turned off thrown out the window NEVER to return….
    Wake up and READ and Listen to the peoples opinions… Are you trying to get rid of people???? Well keep going and you will surely do that… Get rid of ” Happening Now” format and make the people happy again… News feed is a total mess… Hate the twitter feed if I wanted this I would have a twitter account… Did I mention that I HATE this new stupid format?????

    Posted on June 29th, 2011 at 3:54 PM

  5. Ray Rorek Says:

    FACEBOOK GET RID OF THE HAPPENING NOW…i hate it sooo much and cant wait till it homepage is constantly different..I dont even know half the time where my most recent comments are and its really annoying…sometimes they will be at the top of the page where they belong and sometimes they will be in the middle of the page where they dont belong with some random updates that were from yesterday and what not at the very top of the page where they dont belong

    Posted on June 30th, 2011 at 4:47 PM

  6. Bill Williams Says:

    I am one of the lab rats that has the misfortune to be “testing” this
    new format. Today by noon the most recent news feed I had was 15 hours
    old. Now I know that a least one person from my friends list has said
    something a little more recent that. This is a failure! Yet FB continues
    to push this on us. Sending them feed back only gets you a form auto
    email response. The voice of the people mean very little to the FB
    clowns. They will push this on us regardless what we want.

    On the up side I have started reading more books, at least I know they
    won’t change mid chapter to some weird format or different language 
    Plus the photo that FB is providing is totally incorrect. There are not thumbnail pictures on the left of your friend on;ine and at the top there is no Top News/Recent button. FB is attempting to pretty sell and failed product.

    Posted on July 6th, 2011 at 2:13 AM

  7. Lostwizard77 Says:

    You guys are really messing up Facebook. My chat sidebar is complete bs. I am considering disabling chat all together. You guys should leave things as they are, if the people want something changed then we can make suggestions. If you want to make changes make it where we can design our own pages and format.

    Posted on July 8th, 2011 at 3:09 AM

  8. Chezye123 Says:

    i just wanted to say that i have converted with a few people and the new chat thing sucks please change it back its not a good source

    Posted on July 8th, 2011 at 3:19 AM

  9. Michael Jones Says:

    I do not like the happening now or new chat!!!  I can not see all my buddies and i do not want to see what people are posting

    Posted on July 8th, 2011 at 3:20 AM

  10. Dixoncider123 Says:

    i do not like the sidebar please take it off

    Posted on July 8th, 2011 at 3:39 AM

  11. Ndempe Says:

    I dont like the sidebar thing. It dont show all my friends that r online and i liked the old one so will u please take the sidebar off.

    Posted on July 8th, 2011 at 3:47 AM

  12. guest Says:

    This is extremely stupid i hate it! change it back!

    Posted on July 8th, 2011 at 3:51 AM

  13. guest Says:

    This new chat sidebar blows. Please let me see everyone who’s online in one list.

    Posted on July 8th, 2011 at 3:55 AM

  14. ZeziliClark Says:

    The side bar is annoying, gets in the way, (every time the page refreshes it appears in full), and is NOT needed.
    It shows only some friends, it shows friends that don’t even chat, few of those who actually are available via chat. There is a long list of bugs I could list, but others have already done so if anyone is bothering to read this. “Happening Now” is,as can be seen here, a DISASTER. Things were not requested to be changed by the users of FB. This is a product that was unneeded, is unwelcome, and will continue to be disliked.
    Please, take it off!

    Posted on July 8th, 2011 at 3:58 AM

  15. Matt Freitag Says:

    Please GET RID of the side bar it is overly annoying the old way was better!

    Posted on July 8th, 2011 at 4:27 AM

  16. Dillepaul Says:

    I just have the gamebar to the right of page tells what games people are
    playing along with adds and it reloads like a ticker doesn t do it on
    home page only related with games but boy is it slowing my games down
    and when i try to collect items for games off my feed so slow to reload
    back to home page

    Posted on July 8th, 2011 at 4:29 AM

  17. Goldenratio Says:

    obviously this is thing is the first salvo by evil space aliens intent on dividing and ruling, or chinese hackers taking over the world. fb just *couldn’t* possibly be behind it, could they now? i for one welcome our new  from out of town overlords, and can’t wait for their next trick….. thumbs down

    Posted on July 8th, 2011 at 4:39 AM

  18. David Addington Says:

    this side bar is the worst update ever ~!!!@!

    Posted on July 8th, 2011 at 5:12 AM

  19. hisunset Says:

    This is a HORRIBLE feature!  I was apparently one of the unfortunate few to have this unfairly shoved upon them.  I’m SUPPOSED to have an option to go off-line, at the bottom of the sidebar, but that option isn’t even showing up!  And if this sidebar is supposed to show my friends status updates, well – that’s ridiculous!  The sidebar in my page does NOT show their status updates.  And WHY would I need a sidebar for this, anyway?!?!  That’s what NEWSFEEDS are for!  And so is accessing your friends via the Profile section of your Facebook page!

    This feature is UTTERLY stupid, flawed, unnecessary and most importantly – UNWANTED!

    Posted on July 8th, 2011 at 5:52 AM

  20. Guest Says:


    Posted on July 8th, 2011 at 4:57 PM

  21. guest Says:

    I hate this new feature, it only shows a handful of my friends… I liked the old chat menu, don’t ask me to try it without the option to go back to the old way…

    Posted on July 9th, 2011 at 1:28 AM

  22. GUEST Says:

    HOW do I get rid of this?? I need it  TURNED off I have a stalker and now they are ALL over me EVERYWHERE GET THIS THING TURNED OFF.

    Posted on July 9th, 2011 at 5:32 AM

  23. guest Says:

    This is the most ridiculous thing they have EVER come out with.  Not only does someone who wants to remain relatively unknown while they are online not have the choice to turn it off, it opens up a whole other set of issues.  Now I realize that anyone who signs onto a social networking site has no actual privacy as anyone who wants to can find you.  That though is true for anyone connected to the internet.  Social networks aren’t needed for that to happen.  At least with a soc net site…. the ones who are in charge of maintaining it should be respectful and considerate regarding a persons privacy.  It should be the choice of the individual whether or not they take part in something.  They should be advised of the new feature and ASKED before its pushed on them if they even WANT to take part in it.  AND…. it should not put any user who tests or eventually is forced to use any new feature in harms way.  Either by exposing them to unwanted attention, strangers seeing pictures that are of their own children, or not allowing them to enjoy their games or messages in peace.  Shame on Facebook.  Once again, they have gotten it wrong.  

    Posted on July 10th, 2011 at 11:35 PM

  24. VBelladonnaV Says:

    I also have the game bar to the right….I hate it it messes up and slows down the games is there a way to turn it off this sucks. Make it go away!!!!

    Posted on July 16th, 2011 at 3:26 AM

  25. Yll Gashi Says:

    plz can somebody tell me how to hide that right side column of the friends activity … i hate it ?? …

    Posted on July 16th, 2011 at 1:03 PM

  26. Appealnow Says:

    I can’t see the 9 friends online anymore or contact them for chat. When I click the chat box it actually takes me back to the prior web page. What idiots thought this is an improvement? Go back to the old tried and true. Chat has become useless. The only thing I can do is search, but what if I can’t think of the friend’s name or I haven’t chatted with them and seeing their name and icon prompts me to want to say hello.I want the old way of chatting; this is impossible to use.

    Posted on July 16th, 2011 at 6:45 PM

  27. Unclebutch Says:

    WHAT THE HELL IS FB THINKING! I have 4300 friends and i have to wait for one of them to scroll by to contact them? I WANT MY CHAT LIST BACK!

    Posted on July 16th, 2011 at 10:14 PM

  28. Anne-Marie Gosser Says:

    I hate the happening now in the sidebar. I want my events and calendar back in that spot. I don’t need a scrolling duplicate of my newsfeed.  

    Is there any way to get rid of this thing?

    Posted on July 17th, 2011 at 2:53 AM

  29. Sibylle Says:

    Weird, the annoying sidebar emerged yesterday, no Happening Now updates, just the chat sorted in this bizarre way. Today it’s gone and the old chat is back! I hope it stays that way…

    Posted on July 17th, 2011 at 9:32 AM

  30. 'Ani Yo Says:

    How do i get rid of this stupid piece of s### talk about an invasion of privacy facebook!!! I say if we want to hide our Recent Activity then we should be able to do it!!! Developers are all IDIOTS!!!Perhaps this is a LAW SUIT waiting to happen??? … another pist off KIWI

    Posted on July 19th, 2011 at 1:53 AM

  31. msmolly Says:

    I hate it. Once again Facebook has dropped a “feature” onto unsuspecting users with no warning and no way to hide or disable it. This will drive me to Google+ quicker than anything so far.

    Posted on July 19th, 2011 at 6:04 PM

  32. takimaru Says:

    I DON’T like the new feature. This is very annoying! I totally hate it. I don’t want my post/comments to be broadcast.

    Posted on July 21st, 2011 at 8:58 PM

  33. Jeanessa Garcia Says:

    How do I get rid of this or turn it off?

    Posted on July 22nd, 2011 at 6:30 PM

  34. Sfb Says:

    Install AdBlock. Now the fb stalkers will find this glitch and block it.

    Posted on July 23rd, 2011 at 5:14 PM

  35. Louiethepitt Says:

    6 more reasons to change to google plus!
    1) happening now sidebar broadcasting all to everyone is an intrusion…
    2)facebook video calls (in your face annoying people calling you when you are in the middle of something else)
    3)Chats being uploaded to inbox
    4)inbox msg warning not appearing after you refresh the page (not knowing that you have a msg)
    5)Chat bar displaying all your contacts why? (who wants to chat with people disconnected?)
    6)Chat bar without a scroll bar (only showing a few people connected… so you have to guess who is connected)
    facebook less is more!

    Posted on July 26th, 2011 at 4:12 AM

  36. Laney69 Says:

    that can be done if your using mozilla or chrome. Chrome Settings >> Tools >> Extensions >> type this in search –> “Facebook Chat Sidebar Disabler” 
    happeee got back my old version of chat box… :):) 

    Posted on July 28th, 2011 at 9:13 AM

  37. Laney69 Says:

    Chrome Settings >> Tools >> Extensions >> type this in search –> “Facebook Chat Sidebar Disabler” hapieee got back my old version of chat box… :):) nly if ua chrome or mozilla users..

    Posted on July 28th, 2011 at 9:14 AM

  38. insane_insanity Says:

    I feel like a stalker. A lot of my friends don’t have privacy settings. I could honestly care less about who commented on who’s status or photo. 

    Posted on August 11th, 2011 at 5:38 PM

  39. MSBR Says:

    I don’t have a search feature for my extensions.  What other option is there?

    Posted on August 26th, 2011 at 3:20 AM

  40. 71Demon Says:

    Is there anyway to disable the annoying Facebook ticker and get my friends birthdays back?

    Posted on August 28th, 2011 at 5:07 PM

  41. Salonepekin1 Says:

    It’s still there. The funny thing is the last time I was able to take it out, now it’s back and I can’t seem to find a way to deactivate it. It’s getting annoying and I can see what my friends’ commented on other people (who aren’t my friends) statuses. Time to delete my facebook account.

    Posted on August 28th, 2011 at 5:11 PM

  42. Mm Says:

    Now it’s called Ticker. Had it for about 30 minutes. The only way not have it was to use IE without the compatibilty view option on. Adblock on Firefox didn’t block it so sent a report to them. Maybe they’ll find a fix.
    And now it’s gone. Just like that :).
    There were some other thing which made the whole thing worse. The Events had been changed too.Usually there’s a cross on the right uppers side which let’s you delete the event. This was gone. So in order to remove mself from the event I actully had to go to the facebook page and change from “attending” to not attending.
    And there was no way to disable the ticker. There was no simple option, like a cross on the upper right side to disable it. Or n link to lead you to some options to disable it. This s*it just kept rolling and rolling automatically. There’s a bit too much info on my FB page already and I don’t care about this feature. It’s overloading the screen. Plus it reminds me of the early days of blogs when everybody had to make an entry when they ate breakfast and when they went to the toilet. And I hate that. Just that now it’s becoming automatic.
    If this will become a default feature in the future I WILL switcho over to Google+ as soon as I can.

    Posted on August 28th, 2011 at 5:27 PM

  43. Mm Says:

    I guess they’re just testing it as mine just dissapeared automatically and hasn’t returned. Awful thing though.

    Posted on August 28th, 2011 at 5:30 PM

  44. lok123 Says:

    how disable ticker bar in facebook?

    I got answer here :

    Now you can also disable your facebook ticker in sidebar

    Posted on August 28th, 2011 at 5:43 PM

  45. lok123 Says:

    how disable ticker bar in facebook?

    I got answer here :

    Now you can also disable your facebook ticker in sidebar

    Posted on August 28th, 2011 at 5:43 PM

  46. margaret bevans Says:

    I want that ticker taken off my page and return to the old way,it is horrible turning me off fcb

    Posted on September 13th, 2011 at 7:02 PM

  47. Natakoerber Says:

    I  hate this feature. It is invasive and I want it removed.

    Posted on September 21st, 2011 at 11:13 AM

  48. NYX Says:

    I hate this feature it is an invasion of privacy. I don’t want everybody seeing want I am doing??? And I am not particularly interested in seeing what games my friends are playing. Remove it? This is a sure way to get me closing my account.

    Posted on September 27th, 2011 at 2:48 AM

  49. Guest Says:

    How can I make my activities NOT appear on my friends’ tickers?

    Posted on September 30th, 2011 at 4:38 PM

  50. herve leger Says:

    Amazing write-up! This could aid plenty of people find out more about this particular issue. Are you keen to integrate video clips coupled with these? It would absolutely help out. Your conclusion was spot on and thanks to you; I probably won’t have to describe everything to my pals. I can simply direct them here!

    Posted on December 5th, 2011 at 9:26 AM

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