Social sign-in FAQs

We're adding the facility to log in via Facebook or Google - but, just to be completely clear, nobody has to do it; it will only ever be an optionFind out more from our answers to these frequently asked questions.


Why are you doing this?

Because we know people are usually logged in to one or other of those services and it saves people having to remember yet another log in. And for new joiners it reduces the barrier of entry making it easier to join Mumsnet.

How does it work?

When you sign in via Facebook or Google we ask those services for your email address. If the email address matches one on our records we sign you into that account. If it doesn't then we create you a new account associated with that email address.

Can I use my existing Facebook or Google account to sign into my existing Mumsnet account?

Yes, if the email address you use is the same. If the email addresses are different then you'll need to change one to match the other.

What happens if I change my email address on Mumsnet/Facebook/Google?

If you change your email address on one service and you want to continue to use it to sign into Mumsnet then you'll need to change your Mumsnet email to match. You can only sign into an existing account if the emails match.

Will MNHQ see my Facebook/Google stuff?

If you choose to sign in via Facebook or Google we have access to some information those services hold. For Facebook that includes 'basic information', specifically email address, 'profile information' and your friends list. We use your email address and that's it.

We really care about privacy so we've chosen the lowest setting available. For Facebook that still means they want us to have access to your profile and friends list, so technically we could ask Facebook and they would give us your friends list. But we do not ask for your friends list and we promise we won't ever use your friends list for anything, ever.

The same goes for pre-existing Mumsnet accounts; old account holders who choose to sign in via Facebook for convenience would technically be giving us access to new information but we won't take up that opportunity. We just don't want to know so we won't ask.

Ditto for Google - with this we have access to your Google Plus profile. However, we just take your email and nothing else. You can control some parts of what information is publicly available on Facebook and on Google Plus profiles via those providers so do check your settings if you're unsure.

For Facebook there is some information that is always publicly available, including name, profile pictures and cover photos, networks, gender, username and user id. You could restrict other information though. The sign-in app always has access to your friends list; however, we do not ask for your friends list or other information and we won't, ever.

Will my real name show up on Mumsnet if I use Google or Facebook to sign in?

No. We never show other people your real name regardless of how you log in. If you join via Facebook or Google we set your name in your account. You can change this anytime by going to your account settings on Mumsnet.

Aren't you just opening Mumsnet up to trolls and spamming?

It doesn't really make it easier for trolls to spam us. If anything it's harder. Have you tried signing up for Facebook or Google recently?! They want a ton of info before you can create an account. 
It's easier to just register on Mumsnet regular like. It's true they could use an existing account and that would be easier (just as it is for genuine users) but would a troll want to associate an existing account?

It says you'll receive my profile and friend list! Do you? And what are you planning on doing with that info?

We ask Facebook for the minimum amount of information needed to use the social sign in method. This includes your email address, your public profile and your friend list. We use your email address to create an account or sign you into an existing account and to. We don't ask for your friends list and we don't use your friends list and will never. If we could choose not to even have the possibility of accessing your friends list we would, but we can't - Facebook give us access if you give permission. So instead we promise that we won't look.

If I sign in via Facebook will you tell my Facebook friends I'm on Mumsnet like some other apps do (e.g. on Pinterest)?

Theoretically, we could! But no, we don't and we won't.

Will I be able to see what other Mumsnetters are on Facebook?

No, we choose not to share whether your friends are also on Mumsnet.

Will you post on my Facebook wall?

No, and we have no permission to do so.

Will you spam my Facebook friends?

No! That would break our privacy policy and Facebook's policy on data use.

I signed in using Facebook/Google but now I've changed my mind, I don't want to associate the accounts anymore. How do I stop?!

You can revoke access at any time via the services directly.

On Facebook click on the cog and go to settings/apps there you should see Mumsnet log in listed amongst your apps. To revoke access, click edit and 'remove app'.

For Google visit your Account permissions page. If you've granted us access you should see Mumsnet on that list. If you click our name you can revoke access.

I signed up using Facebook/Google and I need to change my information on my account page, how do I save since I don't have a password?

If you signed up via Facebook or Google you can just hit save without entering a password - we'll check with those providers that you're still signed in with the associated account and are therefore allowed to make changes.

I signed up using Facebook/Google but now I want to log in regular stylee, but I don't have a password - help!

If you sign up via Google or Facebook and then want a password go to your account settings and click the 'Change password' link. This will allow you to enter a password.

Can I make changes to my account if I signed up with Google/Facebook?

If you hit save changes we'll check with Google or Facebook that you're still signed in to the associated account and therefore allowed to make changes. Assuming you are, we'll save your new password. Then you'll be able to sign in regular stylee with your email address and new password.

What about banning users?

Users that sign up via Facebook or Google are still able to be banned like regular users. The system works the same because it is based on their email address.

What if someone has a safeguarding issue, do we have more info on them?

We have no location information and only their name as they entered it on Facebook/Google which they control same as setting their name on their profile currently. Plus, we're not allowed to use any data we have access to outside of MN.



Last updated: almost 2 years ago