A new search engine shows up just how much stuff people are making public on Facebook. FacebookSearch searches all the status updates on Facebook that are publically available – and that’s a lot.
Cobbled together by two software engineers, just to show people what information Facebook has, the search engine suggests you search for terms like: “playing hooky” or “HIV test” – obviously compromising stuff that would be much better kept out of the public domain.
It then shows you all the publically available status updates with those words in them, along with a photo of the person who said it, whether they are male or female, and a link to their publically available profile.
“This is a simple example of just how open facebook has made your information.” say the developers. “This data is wide open, and this is one of the least scary uses that anyone will make. If nothing changes, it’s only going to get worse.”
Unless you’ve gone into settings and made your status updates private, they are public by default and available for anyone to see. Facebook search also offers some advice on privacy.
To be honest it’s actually quite interesting and makes Facebook statuses look a bit like Twitter. Anyway – use Twitter for that. And if you want to write about playing hooky, make sure you check your privacy settings.