This is also what prompted my to try and start a discussion about privacy over here: http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=1341227
From the search api docs:
You can search over all public objects in the social graph with https://graph.facebook.com/search. The format is:
We support search for the following types of objects:
All public posts: https://graph.facebook.com/search?q=watermelon&type=post
You can also search an individual user's News Feed, restricted to that user's friends, by adding a q argument to the home connection URL:
News Feed: https://graph.facebook.com/me/home?q=facebook
(one big problem, though, is that I don't think there is a way from Facebook mobile to use the lock's functionality.)
edit: Clearer instructions:
1. Login to Facebook.
2. Type 'blah' in search and hit enter.
3. When it says no results found, click on "Posts by everyone" in the left bar.
Searching everyone's posts has been a feature on facebook for a really long time, it's just somewhat buried in the interface so I'm not surprised if no one noticed it.
The question is who is going to move into this area and claim a market.
I'd much rather pick up on people whose questionable (idiotic?) behavior combined with a mishandling of FB's privacy settings make them deserve the opprobrium:
How many of these people do you think actually realize that their boss can (and more and more do) read what they post?
edit: the first hit is spot on (hiding the name):
"message": "Oh fuck! Now my boss wants to come over on friday as well. Let's rob his ass!(jk) What do you think the chances are that he has a facebook account and he's readin this?",
If you don't like it, don't use it.
Searching public posts is just fine. I just think that people should be more made aware of who exactly they're broadcasting to.
It's called a wall for a reason :/
For example, with Facebook fan pages there used to be an option to hide which pages/groups you were a fan of. Now you can't do that — all of these are public. There is now no way to hide them without 'unfanning' them.
Yes, before the change if someone started looking through the many thousands (millions?) of fan pages they could have found you listed on one. But now it's just sitting on your profile page.
It's obviously very inappropriate to change the privacy settings in ways that deceive people or change privacy settings without users knowing (clearly, and well in advance) that they're going to be changed. But it's hard for me to foresee a coming Facebook diaspora over privacy when I don't think most people think of Facebook as being private... the incredibly vast majority of people that I know don't see privacy as a hierarchical set of access control lists that they're going to tweak to their contentedness: I think they see a particular site as either private (say, gmail) or public (Facebook) and treat their interactions on the site along that binary divide.
My girlfriend cut out a couple of "fan pages" like that because now they are all public. That reduces value for the user because they will find other ways to follow these companies (twitter) and to the companies who lose users.
edit: I think there's perhaps a distinction here between things like personal profile information (one might not one's psycho ex to see their phone number or even wall posts, while not minding sharing them with friends) and things like fan page liking. The former certainly needs privacy controls, and they should be clearer than they currently are; the latter is hard for me to get upset about, and I think it dilutes the message of privacy advocates to mention it.
You may not find yourself in that kind of situation often, but it is a very real possibility -- there was even a study done where a computer could make a highly accurate guess of whether you were gay just by looking at who is in your friends list (also public), without any information from your profile. Everything on facebook is information.
I could give you an example where the bumper sticker is also relevant, but I think the example above is enough to prove my point.
His parents could be fans of that page. His teacher could be.
Becoming a fan of a page, but wanting that to remain private seems contradictory to me.
Maybe if you're a fan of something deeply unpopular - Java for example, then you'd want to keep that as private as possible.
I think it'd probably just be best for facebook to make the leap and say "OK you privacy nerds, SHUT UP. From now on, everything is public apart from private messages. Now quit your incessant whining."
As for 'becoming a fan' being inherently social, that's true. The issue is whether something that's inherently social is also inherently public. Going on a date with your girlfriend is social, but you may not want it inherently public (and keep in mind there's a difference between internet public and people seeing you together at a restaurant public.
(the point isn't about the extreme of freedom of speech, but your idea that we should only worry about things that have actually happened is total garbage)
"I think there's perhaps a distinction here between things like personal profile information (one might not one's psycho ex to see their phone number or even wall posts, while not minding sharing them with friends) and things like fan page liking."
My point is that fan page liking is personal profile information. Everything you put on facebook is personal profile information. The Bob example was merely to show that 'becoming a fan' of something can reveal profile information about the person. The fact that Bob could potentially be 'hurt' in the scenario was just to make Bob sympathetic (as opposed to the all too typical scenario where people post severely racist or homophobic content without realizing how public it might be).
Should comments on public blogs have privacy controls?
There's a difference between the kind of information (response), and the method of communication (comment on a blog).
There's no real evidence that anyone using facebook really minds the changes facebook makes.
Changes to their privacy are fairly moot. It's not like they're changing the color of a button, making it harder to play fishville or anything massive like that.
Can we get back to moaning about appstore policies now? Or iPad articles?
Facebook users are noticing, the question is how many.
Privacy SettingsFriends -> Tags and Connections
Current City, Hometown, Interests, Things I Like, etc. are all fan pages, and you can choose to restrict who can view them on your profile.
"message": "Error processing access token."
EDIT: Apparently the access token isn't necessary, but it can break things if it's there. The URL of this submission should be changed to omit the access token parameter. If that still doesn't work, the instructions below will give you a URL with a Facebook-generated access token that will eventually expire as well.
1) Go here: http://developers.facebook.com/docs/api#search
2) Click on the link to search all public posts for "watermelon".
3) Alter the URL to say "rectal surgery" instead of "watermelon".
(there is a difference, I guess, in that on Twitter it is "common knowledge" that everything is public by default - whereas on Facebook it is reasonable for an individual to realise how public their data might be on their current privacy settings)
Mainly people warning about the privacy changes, yet have public status updates.
Email is a good example. You carry on a conversation about rectal surgery with email correspondents (maybe your doctor). You may have a vague idea that system administrators or men in the middle may be able to read those emails, but you have the conversation anyway because you assume (with some justification) those are unlikely circumstances. You have just posted about your rectal surgery on the internet (over which email travels).
If you were to find your emails publicly searchable you'd be rightly upset.
I originally thought my posts on facebook were only visible (using the English definition of visible, not facebook's co-opted definition) to my specific friends. Many people probably still think so, and it's not an unreasonable leap.
After surgery, you are happy to hear the good news that things went well, you are on your way to feeling a lot better, and want to share that with everybody.
There are many cautionary tales of Facebook users getting into trouble, but, whatever you think of Facebook, there is only so much you can do to prevent people from embarrassing themselves.
Facebook's Privacy Guide states that such information may be visible to everyone on the internet.
Yep - the way Facebook set it by default for them without them realizing. And then it fails to indicate anywhere in the posting UI that the post is going out to the entire universe unless they explicitly click a lock icon that is an standard internet icon for indicating that your content is already secure.
So of course everyone still assumes that when they post about their rectal surgery it's a private matter only their friends can see.
This is why changing your privacy policies and defaults is obnoxious.
Please tell me this is a bug/hack/exploit/mistake/error.
What do the settings need to be in this situation? The recipient needs to have their wall set to "Everyone" and the poster needs to have their wall postings set to "Everyone"?