Watch Out! All Public Facebook Posts Are Now Fully Searchable

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In what is probably causing employers and divorce lawyers to high-five one another and celebrate with copious amounts of booze, Facebook have now announced that all public posts will now be fully searchable, using their cool new Graph Search Engine.

That means that any of your drunken escapades where Facebook has public proof that you woke up hung over and dressed as a chicken the next morning are now going to be seen by every Human Resources department and law court in the country. Congratulations. Would you like fries with that?

Throw in Facebook’s decision to copy Twitter and include hashtags in their search engine searches, and this means that Facebook is suddenly a very rich data mine for anyone looking for information on someone who makes their Facebook posts public. If this describes you to a tee, then it means that you need to make all potentially embarrassing posts “private” immediately.

The need for private posts is not limited just to hiding the embarrassing ones. Many people are switching all of their posts to “private”, simply out of a sudden desire for privacy.

Note that Facebook status posts are set to be “public” by default, as obviously that is what Facebook ultimately wants. So before posting anything, you need to decide if you want it public or private, and if private, switch the privacy level.

There is a really cool link, buried deep in Facebook’s Privacy Settings, where you can switch all public posts to private, with two clicks of a button. This saves you from individually doing each one (which is tedious and would take forever). Simply go here, and where it says “Limit The Audience for Old Posts on Your Timeline“, click “Limit Old Posts“. You’ll be asked if you are sure. Click the button again, and it’s all done. Public posts are now private.

Now you can go into your next job interview and attempt to tell them with a straight face that you are a sober teetotaller.

Ars Technica

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Comments (2)
  • Eric L.

    Oh. My. Gosh. You mean that public posts might actually be, um, public?! I never saw that coming!

    • Mark O

      Well until now, the aearch engine was not really able to properly search all of the public posts. But now it can.

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