Today’s guest post is written by longtime friend and colleague, Dr. Bill Smith, Director of Marketing and Branding at Northwestern State University in Louisiana. Bill and I share a common concern about privacy issues in social media, especially as they relate to its responsible use by college student-athletes. If you’re not familiar with the disturbing potential of Facebook’s Graph Search to ruin a reputation and wreak havoc on the unknowing Facebook user, read on.
Putting the finishing touches on a media training/social media training for Northwestern State spring sport athletes tomorrow night, and I’ve added in courtesy of Tom Scott something new and frightening for everyone.
Actually, not so much. If you haven’t heard, Facebook is now going to provide everyone the keys to the digital kingdom, the ability to search anything within Facebook that was public, ESPECIALLY all those random “likes” you’ve made over the year.
All of them.
Just like the advertisers, you can use Big Data to find all kinds of specialty search groups and then stalk — I mean read about — them.
British comedian Tom Scott was one of the early betas on Graph Search, and he made a Tumblr blog of some of the accidentally funny (Italian mothers who like Durex condoms) and the dangerous (men who like men who live in Tehran, Iran). [Tweet this right here, right now]
I highly encourage taking a few minutes to read the whole thing, and consider where Tom makes fun with absurd things like married men who like prostitutes, what if the search was potential interns who like weed. Or prescription drugs.
Or we added a little creepy geolocation like single women near by who like to get drunk.
As Tom said in his blog:
“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.”
Data Mining and Facebook Graph Search from the Chronicle of Higher Education
If you have any comments, concerns, or experience with Facebook Graph Search, please start the discussion below in the comments. We know, as media professionals, that the possibilities of search for marketing purposes is valuable. Our main concern here is with its exploitation of the unknowing.