Keep it to Yourself, or They Will Keep it Public

by Intern Christina

Some of my biggest Facebook pet peeves include, but are not limited to, the following: incessant complaining, unnecessary relationship updates (wait, aren’t all relationships inherently complicated? Exactly why is yours so special and beyond my comprehending?), and minute-to-minute pregnancy progress reports. People who are a part of these annoying Facebook phenomena should be banned from the internet. Then again, I’m sure there are a few people on my friends list who could go without knowing how long it’s been since I’ve had a bagel, how much I dislike Fifty Shades of Grey, and why I want Lisa Frank everything all the time always. All of these problems can thankfully be solved with the “unfriend” or “hide from my newsfeed” links. Thanks, Zuckerberg. But what if someone took everything that you only wanted your friends list bothered with and put it where everyone could see?


That’s exactly the premise of The website does searches on public Facebook updates for phrases like “my boss,” “hungover” and “sucks” in order to find your statuses of the whiny and bitchy nature. Then, it posts them on the home page to expose what you did last night or how you feel about your manager. The top categories are: who wants to get fired, who’s hungover, who’s taking drugs, and who got a new phone number. The website is creator Callum Haywood’s answer to the privacy problems that come with the publicizing of private information on social networks.

His answer? Get your shit together. The FAQ says “Just make sure your Facebook privacy settings are sufficient, for example don’t publish status updates containing potentially risky material as ‘Public’ because then they have a good chance of showing up in the public Graph API.” Pretty good advice.

Although I don’t necessarily believe in the “teaching people a lesson” approach, it leaves us all with the golden rule of social networking: nothing is really private. If you don’t want everyone to know, don’t put it up. Even if your page is private, if you have friends on your list who you don’t necessarily know and trust, they could take your information and post it anywhere.

Your boss might be a dick, your baby might be really cute, your relationship might be in shambles or just the greatest relationship ever to grace this planet earth, but not everyone needs, or wants, to know. 

(Image courtesy of The Atlantic.)

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