Facebook has announced its new Graph Search feature which allows logged in users to search for information across their friend profiles. Facebook even made it a point to set up a page about privacy in the graph search to try to head off concerns from users.
In this case, Facebook may over-estimate its users. Do you remember when Facebook rolled out its timeline to everyone? Do you remember all the cries of privacy violations in the form of exposed private messages and old relationship details? I do. I recall that it all boiled down to user's misunderstanding the feature and forgetting that they had publicly written and posted some things that might not look so good to them now.
I remember these headlines:
- Facebook resurrects old posts on Timeline, panic ensues, September 24, 2012 at CNet.
- Facebook May Be Publishing Your Old Private Messages On Your Timeline Or You May Just Have Been Lamer Than You Remember, September 24, 2012 at Gawker.
- Despite statements from Facebook to the contrary, users are still claiming to see private messages in their Timelines, September 24, 2012 at The Next Web.
- Update: Facebook Confirms No Private Messages Appearing On Timeline. They’re Old Wall Posts, September 24th, 2012 at TechCrunch.
- Facebook Users Say Private Messages Appear Publicly [UPDATED], September 24th, 2012 at Mashable.
- Are private Facebook messages becoming public? September 24th, 2012 at CNN.
- Facebook Users Convinced Years-Old Private Messages Are Being Published On Timelines. (But They're Wrong.) September 24th, 2012 at Forbes.
- Facebook on Privacy Scare: Nothing to See Here, September 24th, 2012 at The Wall Street Journal.
- Facebook privacy fears: Timeline trash or French farce? September 25, 2012 at Computerworld.
Let's see if the Facebook user base on the whole can remember a lesson not even four months old — lock down the stuff you don't want people to see in a search.
Complained about your co-worker? Remove it. Pictures of your former significant other? Hide them. Bragging about that thing you didn't win? Purge it. Denying the holocaust? Go to hell.
If you aren't sure how to do that, Google can probably point you to a pile of tutorials.
Update, Jnuary 23, 2013
- Actual Facebook Graph Searches
Don't worry, we'll all be used to this in a few weeks' time.
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