Privacy by obscurity no more on Facebook?

November 5th, 2013

Remember those nasty comments you wrote years ago about an ex-boyfriend? Think about that photo of you and your college friends holding shot glasses to the camera? Want your present-day friends and family members to be able to easily find them? As TechCrunch writer Josh Constine says in a recent story, Facebook’s new Graph Search may make it easier than ever for people to discover those long-forgotten but extremely embarrassing Facebook posts.

A powerful new search

Facebook recently introduced a new version of its Graph Search function, one that the social media giant is rolling out to a select group of U.S. users who search in English. As outlined by Constine’s story, family members, friends and others who have access to your Facebook posts can now search these posts by status updates, comments, photo captions, check-ins and notes. This will make it easy for these users to research your older posts.

Uh-Oh moments?

You may want to keep these posts in the past. But Graph Search renders that a difficult job. And that’s something to be aware of whenever you post something on Facebook: Would you like others seeing that photo or reading that comment 10 years from now?

Obscurity is gone?

Constine comments in his story about privacy by obscurity. Before this newer version of Graph Search, Facebook users could rest assured that most fellow users wouldn’t sift through years of their old posts seeking one embarrassing photo or inappropriate joke. With Graph Search, though, this is no longer the case. Privacy by obscurity, as Constine calls it, will literally disappear.