Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg last week introduced Graph Search, the social network's "next big thing." But the feature comes with a few drawbacks for Facebook users, a collection of which one blogger has compiled in an amusing new Tumblr page.
Tom Scott's Actual Facebook Graph Searches includes screenshots from the more bizarre and entertaining Facebook Graph search results, including a search for "mothers of Jews who like bacon" (fewer than 100 people found).
Graph Search - which skims Facebook's one trillion connections for friends and strangers based on their likes, interests, location, and relationships - began rolling out in "limited beta" on 15 January. Scott was invited this week, he said, and once he started playing around with the site, he "got some ... well, some interesting results."
"I'm not sure I'm making any deeper point about privacy," he wrote in a FAQ on the Tumblr page. "I think, at this point, we're basically all just rubbernecking - myself included. Facebook does have good privacy settings: but there are many, many people who don't know how to use them!"
Scott's blog may just be humour to some, but might scare others into rethinking their Facebook activity. Perhaps you forgot about the Getting Drunk! page you jokingly "liked" a few years ago, or would be embarrassed if someone found out that you're a Rush Limbaugh fan.
There may be hope for users who want to delete their unsavoury Facebook history with the help of the new FaceWash Web app, but the service won't erase the fact that you once "liked" Prostitutes on the social network.
This isn't the first time the London-based Internet comedian has poked fun at the popular social network. He formerly built the faux-Facebook Web app Soul Compare, and published a YouTube video about Facebook resurrecting the dead. But this time, his jabs come with a serious note.
Posts like "Current employees of Tesco who like horses" may get a laugh from those following the news of a recent horse meat scandal. But a search for "Current employers of people who like Racism," the results of which include the United States Air Force, Target, and McDonald's, are slightly more disconcerting.
Additionally, some searches will even lead users to information about people's spouses or places they've worked, turning the Graph Search function into more than a potentially way to meet new people.
Scott's advice to concerned Facebook users: "If it'd be awkward if it was put on a screen in Times Square, don't put it on Facebook. Oh, and check your privacy settings again."
Tumblr seems to be the go-to place for tech gaffes of late; when Apple released its much-maligned Apple Maps, a Tumblr quickly sprung up highlighting its bizarre results.