Facebook is currently testing out a new range of tools that will hide certain content on your page from the prying eyes of past partners.

The new feature, currently on trial on mobile devices in the US, lets you take a break from old flames on Facebook without actually deleting them from your friends list.

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It’s a common conundrum that most victims of ill-fated relationships face in the 21st century. To delete or not to delete? But now, banishing an ex from your Facebook page doesn’t have to mean hitting the brutal ‘Unfriend’ button.

Facebook already has privacy settings in place to block certain people seeing your profile, but the difference with this new feature is that it’s specifically aimed at the newly-single. Anyone who changes their relationship status on Facebook to ‘single’ will automatically be offered the option to customise their ex’s access to their content, and also choose to see less of theirs.

This means you can prevent them from seeing photos, status updates, and, most importantly, all of those self-pitying, wine-fuelled statuses you’ll probably be posting on every would-be anniversary for the next three years. The block can be as temporary or as permanent as you want it be, with the option to grant access to them again when you’re ready, or, y’know, when life is great again and you want them to know all about it.

But the new feature doesn’t just deal with the often trivialised digital dilemma of how best to essentially eradicate a person from your life. It also confronts the awkward reality that the entirety of your relationship is still plastered in the indelible ink of the internet for all to see. You’ll be given tools to help you block friends and potential love interests from seeing past interactions between you and your ex, including pictures of the two of you together.

One potential little issue we’ve heard no mention of is Facebook’s ‘Memories’ function, which throws a random little morsel of Facebook past into your newsfeed in an attempt to spice things up a bit from time to time. Now there’s an opportunity for a whole world of pain to ensue. Hopefully they’ll nip that one swiftly in the bud as part of the ex blocker bundle.

The new feature will be rolled out further depending on feedback from its initial trial, so in the meantime, anyone outside the US will have to turn to the harsh finality of the ‘Unfriend’ button when the unthinkable happens.


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