The privacy settings in Facebook have been called into question with the release of the new tier of Facebook technology Graph Search.
Graph Search will allow you to simply type in an aspect about your friends, friends of friends or people you don’t even know and learn what they like, who they support and their favorite color. There is no way of blocking yourself from the search. Anything that is visible to your friends will be visible when they search.
Bloggers with the beta version of the program have had a field day, searching risque topics and publishing the people that show up when the search is complete.
For example, they’ll type in ‘Roman Catholics who like Trojan Condoms’ and publish the names of those people they found who seem to like two conflicting ideas.
Facebook has long been on the forefront of privacy settings, and have previously been praised for allowing individuals who use their site to select what people see on their profiles. But, in recent weeks Facebook has been quietly changing some of their privacy policies to better mesh with their new Graph Search System. Users will be unable to opt out of being graph searched.
The Graph Search application was advertised as the savior of the Facebook stock, but has been met with skepticism as the stock continues to under-perform. Stock holders seem to be waiting for the rumored Facebook phone to be released before they respond more positively to the Facebook stock.
In the meantime, users of Facebook now have a decision to make. They can choose to keep Facebook, which connects them to millions of users and hundreds of friends – or they can delete their profiles to avoid being graph searched.
I would offer a third solution – one that will allow you to keep your Facebook while not having to worry about who is searching you out – don’t put every personal detail about yourself on Facebook.
My Facebook profile is completely public. Every photo, every wall post, every detail is open for the world to see. I was raised to believe if you don’t want the world to see you doing it, don’t do it. If you track me down on Facebook all you will see is that I like news, puppies and I graduated last year.
Graph Search doesn’t concern me because I don’t have anything I feel super private about on my Facebook profile. And, that is something I do purposely. Having a public profile, I’m conscientious of what I publish.
The only thing that’s certain in this life is change, and Facebook makes sure that’s true. This won’t be the last change you see from the social media titan.