I'm trying to convince the Facebook website that I'm writing from a different place. Originally, because I'd like to fully understand the ways in which I'm being spied upon. But by now, after several hours of trying, it has also become a matter of principle to me...

What I don't mean:

I am not talking about the regular "Check In" function, where you click the pin and choose a location from the list of suggestions when writing a post. That one is working fine, and I know I can check in to any place in the world, even though I'm not really currently there.

What I do mean:

I mean the place that Facebook inserts there automatically, as seen in these pictures:

enter image description here

enter image description here

Things I have tried / found out so far:

  • WiFi/mobile network: It has nothing to do with either of them. I'm trying this on a desktop PC that does't even have a WiFi adapter. The connection is Ethernet only.
  • IP: Facebook does not seem to use my public IP for this, because then it would have to be some 80-100 km away from me, where my provider's next server is. Also, I tried a proxy in another country, and it still showed my real town.

    However, It did recognize me logging in from a different place, as can be seen see in my currently active sessions:

    enter image description here

  • Windows: Windows 10 location service is completely disabled.

  • Browser: Facebook is not asking my Firefox for the location (otherwise I would see that "target" icon in the address bar and also have to allow it manually first). To be extra-sure, I explicitly disabled location permission for the Facebook website in Firefox.

  • Cookies/cache: I logged out several times, cleaning cookies and cache, then logged back in. Nothing.

  • Firefox addon: I installed Location Guard, set it to a fake place, and it seems to be working (tested here and here). Still no change on Facebook.
  • Console: I used the Firefox console (network tab) to see if I could find any location-related requests, but didn't find any. (However, many requests don't use plaintext, but are encoded in some way, so I don't really understand all of them.)
  • Near devices: I also tried logging out of all other devices, also clearing their cookies and cache, and ended all active sessions from Facebook's "Security" tab.
  • Hometown/current city: Facebook is not taking the city from my profile either. I changed hometown and current residence to random places, but nothing changed.
  • Google account: Just to be sure, I also changed my "home" in Google Maps, although Facebook doesn't seem to rely on a Google API for this. (Also, when I allow Google to find me, it is only able to locate my ISP's server 80-100 km away from me, as mentioned above.)

I'm really running out of ideas. What other possibilities could there be?

  • 2
    FB will learn and remember from previous session, have you tried with new local account, new browser and from a VPN?
    – Archemar
    Nov 13, 2016 at 15:42
  • 2
    "Facebook uses information from multiple sources such as current city from profile, IP address, data from mobile devices and aggregated information about the location of friends." from facebook.com/business/help/133609753380850 Nov 13, 2016 at 15:43
  • Possible duplicate of Keeping websites from knowing where I live
    – techie007
    Nov 15, 2016 at 14:06


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