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Stop Facebook from listening to everything you say

Q: Hi Kim. Yesterday you spoke about Facebook "listening" and suggested to turn off the microphone and other settings. Though I do not do Facebook nor am I a techy...I did tell our daughters (29 & 27). I think my explanation was lost in the translation; however, I would have thought this important safety piece would have been posted on your site. Am I just not seeing it? Btw, as I said I am not a techy...however, I love listening to you when I am doing my errands on Sunday -- you are BRILLIANT!!!! and funny, and gracious, and kind... Thank you!

A: Thank you for the kind words! My whole staff and I will always appreciate listeners like you.

Anyway, to answer your question, although all the evidence supporting the allegations that the Facebook app is "listening" through your phone's microphone for advertising purposes is purely anecdotal (Facebook also denies the claims), it's still your choice if you want to disallow it or any other app from accessing your mic. It's actually quite easy!

If you are an iPhone user, go to Settings >> Facebook >> Settings >> slide the Microphone switch to the left so it turns from green to white. That turns it off.

Alternatively, you can go to Settings >> Privacy >> Microphone >> look for Facebook then do the same. Note that you can toggle the mic on and off for other apps, too.

For Android users: Try Settings >> Applications >> Application Manager >> look for Facebook >> Permissions >> Turn off the mic.

On Android Marshmallow: Go to Settings > > swipe to Personal >> Privacy and safety >> App permissions > > “Microphone” >> Look for Facebook then slide it to OFF.

Keep in mind that turning off Facebook's microphone access will affect and disable specific features of the app such as Live Video. If you're going to use these features, you will have to toggle the mic back on.

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