Facebook Graph Search – Watch the Tag!

A friend of mine, a techno whiz kid named Sandy had this to say when I prompted him about Facebook Graph Search, ‘Look, searching for people who like Pakistan will yield you a bunch of results including those who liked pages for a Indo-Pak cricket match, Pakistani Girls, or spicy Pakistani food. Now, if you an Indian fundamentalist, Graph Search ain’t helping you much’.

True, Facebook Graph Search needs to seriously improve its search and prediction capacity to break into a segment that’s effectively Google’s ‘Bread and Butter’. This path breaking yet simple search option utilizes a user’s natural language to frame search queries and utilizes MSN’s Bing search engine to drive its results. The results are gonna be amateurish for a while, but that situation will improve very soon.

So cutting out all the technical mumbo-jumbo, how exactly do you prepare for Facebook’s supposed onslaught on your Social Privacy? Read on,

The major problem area would be the pictures you have uploaded into your Facebook account. If you have set the privacy for an individual photo such that only your Friends or ‘Friends of Friends’ can access it then only these people can access such photos by Graph Search. The general public can access all those photos which feature you, were taken by your friends and publicly shared on their profiles. The first point of attack is identifying these rogue pictures-

Access your Activity Log. To get here, just access your profile and the Activity Log button is displayed very prominently on the right hand side of the page. Listed before you is a chronological listing of all your activity on Facebook- including posts and photos wherein you were tagged by your friends. This listing helps you to set iron-clad privacy setting for your data. Use this feature wisely.

Next, click on the very prominent Photos link on the Left hand navigation panel. All the photos (the ones posted by you or your friends) wherein you are tagged are displayed before you. Clicking on the little icon on the right side of the photo will displays all the people who can currently see this picture. Tweak the photo privacy settings here and Graph search will abide by it when populating its search results. There is also a small edit button right there- helping you to hide the picture from your timeline or report the picture to be brought down by Facebook.

Facebook Graph Search

Facebook Graph Search – Settings

This little bit of work will save you the surprise of finding your ‘deemed embarrassing’ pictures from landing on Graph Search, as accessed by a practical joker. By improving your own defenses, you can allay most of your privacy related issues in the wake of the Facebook Graph Search update.

The final entry in this trilogy of blog posts about the Facebook Graph Search will be hitting you soon and will address the proper protocol for Facebook behavior post the update. Stay tuned.

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