How do I get access to Graph Search?
That’s been the most common question. (Of course it has.) You sign up for the waiting list on Facebook’s site. I’ve no idea why I’m one of the lucky ones that got it early!
Why did you make this?
I got invited to Graph Search today, started playing about with it, and got some… well, some interesting results. I’ve been having a lot of fun at Facebook’s expense lately, but I had to take one more quick, cheap shot — and I think a Tumblr blog is the quickest, cheapest shot it’s possible to take.
I’m not sure I’m making any deeper point about privacy: 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!
Searching questions about the death of privacy will be left as an exercise for the reader.
Aren’t you giving ideas to repressive governments?
I’d bet money they’ve already thought of it and have already done those searches. The searches I’m making now were suggested on the day that Facebook Graph Search was announced, more than a week ago.
Also, I think they have more accurate and time-tested intelligence-gathering services than Facebook Graph Search. See the next question:
Isn’t Facebook’s data so bad that it doesn’t matter?
In many cases, but not in all.
Searching for family members, for example, is often disrupted by the (mostly teenage) people who’ve marked friends as their family. And for the “Iranian men who like men” search, a lot of that may be mistranslation: it could be interpreted as the literal ‘interested in meeting’ rather than ‘would like to date’.
I’m freaked out now. What’s your advice?
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.
Are there any searches so unsettling that you haven’t put them on here?
Updated to add:
Are you getting many submissions?
Almost none. I suspect that’s because not many people have Graph Search right now.
What’s the blog’s traffic like?
I’m going to go with somewhere between “ridiculous” and “ludicrous”.
Will this be an ongoing effort?
As the old saying goes: always leave ‘em wanting more.