Facebook Graph Search: 5 Privacy Settings To Check - InformationWeek

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Facebook Graph Search: 5 Privacy Settings To Check

Facebook now indexes your status updates, photo captions, check-ins and comments. Here's how to tweak your privacy settings to ensure that your information is private.

10 Facebook Features To Help You Get Ahead
10 Facebook Features To Help You Get Ahead
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Facebook is adding new types of content to Graph Search, its internal search engine, the social network announced Monday. Users will now be able to search for topics including status updates, photo captions, check-ins and comments. Previously, Graph Search was limited to information primarily from users' profiles and pages, including people, photos and interests.

The updates to Graph Search also let users search for posts from a certain time or place. For example, you could enter "Posts by my friends from last month," or "Posts written at The White House" in order to find that specific information. Other examples include searching for posts you have commented on or "My posts from last year."

As Facebook widens its scope of searchable information, questions about privacy continue to arise. As in other iterations of Graph Search, the information others surface about you and your activities depend on your privacy settings. If you allow some information to be shared publicly, anyone could find your posts. If you limit your privacy to friends, only they can see your information and activity.

[ Facebook promises changes to its News Feed algorithm. Read Facebook Tries to Make Ads Less Annoying. ]

Facebook said the new Graph Search capabilities are rolling out to a small group of users who currently have Graph Search. In the meantime, here's a look at five privacy settings to check to ensure you're sharing only the information you want to share.

1. Review Your Status Updates. There are a few ways you can browse your old status updates and posts to make sure you're sharing them with only the people you choose. If you're curious to see whether you've shared any updates publicly -- which is usually users' main concern -- navigate to your profile page and click the gear icon at the bottom of your cover photo, then select "View As." By default, this view shows you what your profile looks like to people with whom you are not friends and will automatically display updates and content you have shared publicly.

To change the setting of individual posts, navigate to your Activity Log and sort your updates by date. Find the one you want to change, then click the icon next to it to change the audience.

Another option is to change the setting for all old posts on your timeline. This will automatically change all public posts and posts you've previously shared with "Friends of Friends" to friends only. To find this setting, click the gear icon in the top-right of your screen and select Privacy Settings. Under "Who can see my stuff?" click "Limit past posts" next to the option "Limit the audience for posts you've shared with friends of friends or Public."

2. Review Your Comments. Graph Search also indexes all of your comments, whether you've made them on your own profile or a friend's profile. Your comments on others' photos, for example, may be public, depending on your friend's privacy settings. To review your comments, navigate to your Activity Log and sort it by Comments, found on the left-side navigation.

Combing through all your comments will be tedious. You can see whether a comment was shared publicly based on the icon that appears next to it: The globe icon means it was shared publicly, and can be searched and surfaced by any Facebook user. An icon with two silhouettes means it is shared with that user's friends; an icon with three means it's shared with that person's friends of friends.

You can't change the privacy setting of your comment if it was posted on a friend's account, but you can remove it. To do so, click the pencil icon next to the comment and choose "Delete."

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Kristin Burnham
Kristin Burnham,
User Rank: Author
10/2/2013 | 1:02:27 PM
re: Facebook Graph Search: 5 Privacy Settings To Check
You can, to an extent. Look for the icon below the post, and hover over it to see what privacy the post is set to. The globe icon means it's public, the icon of two silhouettes means their friends can see it, the silhouettes of three people mean it's set to friends of friends, and the gear icon means it's set to a custom privacy setting.
Thomas Claburn
Thomas Claburn,
User Rank: Author
10/1/2013 | 7:56:40 PM
re: Facebook Graph Search: 5 Privacy Settings To Check
There should really be some way to check on friends' privacy settings, so you can choose not to comments on posts from friends with permissive privacy settings.
User Rank: Author
10/1/2013 | 7:26:25 PM
re: Facebook Graph Search: 5 Privacy Settings To Check
Will we see a drop in photo comments now? That your friend controls the privacy settings on his/her photos and your comments on them -- some people don't think about this.
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