Site auto-trawls embarrassing Facebook posts
'Delete Facebook account' surges into Google top 10
A new site illustrates the privacy perils of users who leave their public updates searchable outside of Facebook.
Youropenbook (formerly Facebooksearch) allows interested parties to search for status updates containing potentially embarrassing information such as "playing hooky", "stupid boss" or "control urges" simply by clicking on a link. The site also offers customised searches of freely viewable status updates. Search results return the name and profile picture of those making potentially embarrassing comments.
The site neatly illustrates the privacy perils of making status updates and wall posts viewable in much the same way PleaseRobMe previously illustrated how location updates through services such as FourSquare might potentially help out burglars.
Youropenbook automates a type of security shortcoming first noticed by a commentard on Slashdot. The Facebook Graph site allows users to search for posts containing the word sex, or any other search term the curious might choose to select.
A spokeswoman for Facebook explained: "This is the search feature of the Graph API, documented here (http://developers.facebook.com/docs/api#search.)"
The same search is possible directly on Facebook.
"Only posts (status updates, notes) which are Everyone and Page names are available unless you authenticate with an app (e.g. the TweetDeck app is a desktop client you can use to search over your own status updates)," she added.
Facebook has become synonymous over recent months with attempts to erode privacy settings so that users' information is shared by default. As illustrated here there are 150+ privacy options on Facebook making the process of locking down a profile the 21st century equivalent of programming a VCR.
With all the privacy furore around Facebook, including EU complaints over a recent privacy rollback and more recent moves to share user information automatically with "pre-approved" websites, it's little wonder that some users have decided the simplest option is to quit the site. "Delete Facebook account" is now the ninth hottest search term on Google, Sophos reports. ®
Why make an account?
Why not just TALK TO or PHONE your sister, or send a message via a mutual friend?
What's it all about?
It it just me who is missing the point of social networking?
I only joined facebook because my sister put up a photo of me when I was a baby. I created an account, looked at the photo, sent her a message telling her to take the photo down and promptly forgot about the site.
Within days I started getting messages from ex-girlfriends, old friends and various other people that I had deliberately not given new phone numbers to over time.
The last people to become friends with me were the closest people to me, the ones I spend the most amount of time with.
I didn't ever feel the need to search for people because it didnt feel right. If I want to speak to a friend I'll phone them or text them. If I don't phone them or text them then chances are I dont want to post a message on their wall for the whole world to see. And I probably cant be arsed with reading their messages either. If I have something to say I will come and say it to you in person. No need to hide
It's about social status. That's why posts are called status updates. It's just another method of self-justification. People feel more important when they can convince themselves that they have a lot of friends.
As a test, disable your facebook account for a couple of days and see how many of your friends ring ou up to ask where you went.
Why, exactly, people are surprised when all their personal info is available online WHEN THEY INTENTIONALLY MAKE IT AVAILABLE is beyond me ...
Humans, as a class, are fucking idiots.