It's complicated, but involves security and privacy concerns, as well as some other insanity...
I will be gradually moving my shop to:
please come cheer me on there.
Sorry to have to do this: ETSY has been making lots of changes, if you have purchased or set up an account on ETSY, even if neglected/closed, at any time in the past, go log in:
go to Your Account, Settings and also Privacy and Notifications. I would at this point, making your purchases private, and to OPT OUT of "findability" and to put circle notification email to NO.
Your favorites being private is up to you, ...but be aware that anyone who puts you in their circle will see any time and anything you favorite.
Since Feb 4th the search has changed and we can't get further clarification from admin about anything. People are being spammed by sellers abusing the "circle function" which is otherwise really pointless, AND the forums have all been shoved into separate team areas... If you have a question about something you can't just put it out there, you have to hunt down the team and hope that someone with an answer or a good guess will respond.
If you have been spammed via ETSY circles or the friend finder PLEASE log in and convo administrator "egoodman85" or email him at egoodman (at) etsy.com be sure to state your complaint/concern calmly and clearly.
I love you all!