Stalkers and advertisers will be pleased to know that Facebook is now more searchable than it has ever been, after the social network confirmed that it was in the process of allowing users to dig much deeper into a "friend's" past posts.
What’s everyone saying out there? What about just my friends? What do my old photo comments say about me? A trillion posts full of this info start getting unlocked as Facebook begins rolling out Graph Search for posts to a small subset of US English users. It will allow us to see what the world thinks of anything, but could also dredge up the past, defeating ‘privacy by obscurity’.
When Facebook launched Graph Search in January, it started with indexing people, photos, places, and interests. It let you find people based on certain characteristics, browse specific sets of photos, find local businesses, and discover media and brands your friends enjoy. Today, almost anything you post is accessible via Graph Search including status updates, comments on anything, photo captions, Notes, and check-ins.
Graph Search functionality was Zuck's first clear signal to advertisers that he was finally getting serious about search and - by extension - advertising, from which the billionaire derives around 85 per cent of his company's revenues.
With Graph Search, Suddenly everything we’ve written on Facebook can be searched by anyone with permission to see it. Your bitter posts from your college library, silly comments on friends’ wedding photos, Photos with your x-relationships and dispatches from distant vacation check-ins can all be distilled from the rest of your content. That could make for some fun nostalgia, or some embarrassing fiascos.
Graph Search for people let you find a non-friend’s profile and comb through their public posts. But Graph Search for posts essentially eradicates ‘privacy by obscurity’. If you said it, and it’s technically visible to someone, they will be able to easily find it. That includes any time you’ve mentioned you’re “drunk”, “high”, “depressed”, “pissed”, “**** U”, etc.
Facebook said of Graph Search on 30 Sep 2013:
Now you will be able to search for status updates, photo captions, check-ins and comments to find things shared with you.
But it was keen to add that a user's privacy would not be violated on the network.
As with other things in Graph Search, you can only see content that has been shared with you, including posts shared publicly by people you are not friends with.
Fears about perverts using Graph Search to prey on teenagers on the network were raised earlier this year. Facebook was forced to say that controls would be in place to protect young people. But the system is flawed, because it relies on kids and adults to be honest about their age when signing up to Facebook - which is not robustly policed by the company. The new function is slowly being rolled out to a small number of users for now.
Better be aware on what you post as well as on the Privacy settings before it’s too late