Facebook is making it easier for users to search posts and status updates through Graph Search, by using natural language cues in defining their search parameters. But will this result in yet another privacy issue for the social network?
Facebook has recently announced an update to its Graph Search feature that will make it easier for users to search through posts and status updates.
Introduced in early 2013 Graph Search lets users find relevant content using natural language cues, which will bring up search results from a user’s own updates, their friends’ posts or public posts, depending on the case. For instance, searching for “Photos of my friends taken in New York, New York,” would bring up just that — photos of your friends taken in New York, NY.
While Graph Search initially launched with support for people, places, photos and interests, the search functionality did not support posts and status updates until now. With this latest development, you can now search for your own posts — or that of your friends — with the now-ubiquitous search box at the top of the Facebook page.
However, while this adds functionality to Facebook’s search feature, it also adds a whole new dimension to the already complicated privacy situation faced by the social network. Josh Constine wrote on TechCrunch that this essentially eradicates “privacy by obscurity,” in that your otherwise hard-to-find posts are now more easily accessible. “If you said it, and it’s technically visible to someone, they will be able to easily find it,” he argued.
Facebook does offer a few tips in enhancing your privacy by limiting who can see your posts. Given the potential for friends or even the public to sift through your posts and status updates, it will now ultimately be the responsibility of a user not to post anything that is likely to have negative repercussions. You wouldn’t want your boss or future employer to see drunken or wasted photos, employer rants or other such damaging content.
Will Facebook’s latest update be cause for concern among privacy advocates?