Tamara Yesmin Toma

Researcher, Dismislab
Commenting ‘@highlight’ on Facebook Does Not Reveal Profile Visitors
This article is more than 10 months old

Commenting '@highlight' on Facebook Does Not Reveal Profile Visitors

Tamara Yesmin Toma

Researcher, Dismislab

Facebook users are being misled by a claim circulating on the platform. According to this claim, which has been shared on multiple posts (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6), leaving a comment with “@highlight” would supposedly reveal the identities of individuals who had visited their Facebook profiles. However, Facebook’s privacy policy clearly states that users cannot ascertain who has viewed their profile. These Claims are unequivocally false.

In the past, there were numerous instances of malware and scams aimed at hacking profiles, offering the false promise of divulging secret profile viewers. Recently, it’s being claimed that by commenting on a specific post with “@highlight,” users would be able to uncover the identities of their profile visitors. Consequently, countless comments flooded these posts, but unfortunately, they never yielded any information about profile visitors. Instead, the creators of these posts were able to increase their own profile reach and engagement.

What happens if you use “@highlight”?

While some Facebook users can utilize the “@highlight” feature, it does not serve the purpose of revealing profile visitors. Instead, when users comment with “@highlight,” they have the ability to highlight a specific Facebook post once per week. This feature then sends notifications to individuals on their friend list, drawing attention to the highlighted post.

Upon verification, it has been confirmed that typing “@highlight” in Facebook comments triggers a message indicating the ability to highlight content once a week. The post’s author’s name is displayed first, followed by select profiles from the commenter’s friend list. The “@” symbol is typically employed to mention specific individuals from one’s friend list. “@highlight” is merely one of several available features, similar to “@friends” or “@everyone.

Is it possible to know who is visiting a Facebook profile?

Facebook never allows anyone to identify who visits their profile, nor can third-party apps or extensions provide this information. The Privacy, Safety, and Security section of the Facebook Help Center explicitly states, “Facebook doesn’t let people track who views their profile. Third-party apps are also unable to provide this functionality. If you come across an app that claims to offer this ability, please report the app.”

Strategies to increase Facebook reach and engagement

On Facebook, the term “reach” refers to the number of unique users who view a post or page, while “engagement” encompasses user interactions such as likes, comments, shares, and other forms of engagement with content. Increasing engagement plays a crucial role in expanding the reach of a page or profile.

The Facebook algorithm takes various factors into account, and engagement is among them when determining the reach of a post. To influence the algorithm and enhance reach, it is common practice to encourage users to comment on a post. For example, posting emotionally charged pictures and requesting users to respond with “Amen” (1, 2), or posing different types of questions to followers. These tactics primarily aim to boost engagement and subsequently increase reach.

However, it is important to note that while these tactics may seem harmless, they can be accompanied by the dissemination of false information to artificially drive engagement. One such technique involves claiming that commenting “@highlight” can reveal the identities of profile visitors. This claim attracts numerous comments on posts, ultimately amplifying their reach. Nonetheless, it is crucial to recognize that it is impossible to determine the individuals who have visited a Facebook profile. In fact, some users have expressed their frustration with being mentioned in various posts through highlights (1, 2, 3, 4).

Various scams exploiting the desire to see Facebook profile visitors

False claims like “Know Who Viewed Your Facebook Profile” or “Who Secretly Visits Your Facebook?” have been circulating on Facebook for years, often through private messages. However, it’s important to be aware that most of these claims are scams. These scams typically involve the use of links or apps that redirect users to external websites, where they are prompted to install browser extensions or apps. Unfortunately, clicking on these links can lead to the installation of malware on your device, putting your privacy and security at risk.

In some instances, these scams present a deceptive Facebook-like login page, suggesting that you can gain access to information about profile visitors by entering your Facebook phone number, email, and password. However, providing personal information or sharing your password on such pages can expose you to potential hacking attempts, compromising your Facebook account and personal data.

It’s worth noting that false claims of this nature have even been published by mainstream media outlets in Bangladesh (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8). However, these claims have been debunked through thorough fact-checking.