back to article Run for your (private) lives! Facebook's creepy Graph Search is upon us

Facebook will roll out its Graph Search in North America more than six months after the free-content ad network debuted the beta feature to a lucky few. The company said everyone who uses the US English website version of Facebook would be able to access Graph Search, which allows people to look up information about friends of …

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  1. JetSetJim Silver badge
    Coat

    Optional

    > Just look at how many kids under the age of 13 are actively using Facebook with or without their parents' permission

    Will Graph search tell us this?

    1. TeeCee Gold badge
      Alert

      Re: Optional

      Even if it could, it won't.

      That would prove that Farceberk were knowingly allowing underage use.......

    2. LarsG
      Meh

      Re: Optional

      If you haven't erased your profile then now is the time to do it.

      1. adminspotting

        Re: Optional

        I haven't erased my profile, and I'm not going to.

        Since I've never had a friendface account, there's no need.

      2. Ru
        Big Brother

        Re: Optional

        If you haven't erased your profile then now is the time to do it.

        What is this 'erase' you speak of? We can offer you a 'temporary unlinking of public profile' but we know you don't really mean it, so we're keeping all your data available and searchable so as to provide a better experience for you when you think better of your foolish actions and rejoin the flock!

        1. cortland

          Re: Optional?

          At your request, your data has been moved to a non-public directory.

          Only the government can access it, not the public. Nor can you.

          Thank you for you business.

  2. Winkypop Silver badge
    Big Brother

    Creepy

    Just got a whole lot more creepier.

    1. b0llchit Silver badge
      Big Brother

      Re: Creepy

      It is the (first) public release of the out-sourced government version to map meta-data into link-graphs. It is time to generate fictional data at a massive scale to blend the data to pulp (-fiction). I guess that there has been enough research already on fake accounts and how you setup such that most probably pass the Turing test.

      Come on, create a bigger haystack!

    2. Steve Knox
      Headmaster

      Re: Creepy

      Just got a whole lot more creepier.

      No, it didn't. There's no such thing as "more creepier."

      1. Euripides Pants
        Happy

        Re: Creepy

        OK. more creepierest

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    As far as I'm concerned, any journalist using the word 'pervert' immediately loses any credibility they might have had to comment on situations involving child endangerment.

    1. haloburn

      Not following, why?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Not following, why?

        also cf "loaded adjective".

        Whatever the deviation in question, "pervert" isn't a neutral description, and by using it, you can elicit stranger negative reactions than would normally be justifiied. Many might think that incompatible with good journalism (as opposed to e.g. the writing of a provocative columnist)

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Not following, why?

          "Whatever the deviation in question, "pervert" isn't a neutral description, and by using it, you can elicit stranger negative reactions than would normally be justifiied"

          This sounds like a Wikipedia version of journalism where having a point of view is not allowed. Presumably such a castrated type of journalist would, in addition to not calling paedophiles "perverts", restrain from describing Hitler as a "tyrant", or David Ike a "conspiracy nut", nor would they attempt to alert the public to "outrages" such as tobacco companies suppressing the details of cancer deaths in their own research etc.

          Point of view is perfectly acceptable, even in an encyclopædia, because we're supposed to be adults and understand that there is no such thing as neutrality or objectiveness and that hiding your point of view actually makes your writing less useful than making it clear up front.

        2. <shakes head>
          Facepalm

          Re: Not following, why?

          my favourite is carnage whe a few people are hurt.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Can you explain that a bit further, because at the minute i've got no idea why you think that. Am I supposed to guess why you think that way? Because I can't guess. Sorry.

      1. ratfox

        I assume because he considers the word 'pervert' was chosen for Daily Mail-like scaremongering rather than to inform.

        A bit like a politician would talk of 'terrorists' rather than good old-fashioned 'criminals', which are much less scary for some reason, even though terrorists are statistically way less likely to hurt the population.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Ratfox is correct. I figured it was obvious, but oh well...

          When you use emotionally charged terms to describe people, you lose the ability to judge the situation rationally.

          Suppose you'd gone on usenet and downloaded some wacky tentacle anime to have a laugh at with your buddies, or to win a bet about how proverbially-messed-up Japan is, or whatever - would it be reasonable for a journalist to say, "SICK FILTH MOVIES FOUND ON DISGUSTING PERVERT'S HOME COMPUTER"?

          That attitude goes hand in hand with the horrifyingly-common "accused as as good as guilty" assumption that I see too much in the US. When you normalize the use of distorted, emotion-laden language as appropriate for the very circumstances under which dispassionate discourse is *required* by a civil society to function well, you run enormous risks - not only of trampling on the rights of other innocents, but the risk of eventually finding yourself hoisted by your own petard in similar circumstances.

          1. P. Lee

            >When you use emotionally charged terms to describe people, you lose the ability to judge the situation rationally.

            That assumes a particular timescale. Perhaps the situation has already been judged and the emotional term is the judgment rendered.

            This is not the same as reporting on a trial. The accusation is clearly against a totally hypothetical predator. Neither a particular plaintiff, evidence, nor motive is required in this context, as it is an example of something else - the potential for misuse of search capabilities.

          2. haloburn

            I didn’t read it that way, to me the journalist is talking about parents fear that “perverts” may be stalking their children online. To me this is just reporting the concerns raised in the original article, it’s clear to me that the reporter wasn’t calling anyone a pervert or using the term for sensationalist purposes. If the reporter was discussing folk with Coulrophobia and that they were “afraid of clowns” would you read the term “clowns” as an emotionally charged example of poor journalism? Would the journalist be calling anyone a clown or simply explaining that people have a fear of them?

          3. Jim 59

            emotion-laden title

            "When you normalize the use of distorted, emotion-laden language as appropriate for the very circumstances..."

            Of course extremely rude or pejorative language is not helpful in discussion, but on the other hand, antiseptic language can falsify the degree of things. For example, in sociology speak, an "abuser" can describe somebody who merely uses bad language, or somebody who commits a drunken assault, or even somebody guilty of kidnap and torture. Even serial-killers are sometimes described as "abusers". An insane confusion arising from a desire to sound scientific.

    3. SoaG

      Context

      The discussion was of adults using the service to stalk school children.

      If that doesn't qualify as appropriate use of 'pervert', what do you think does?

  4. Code Monkey
    Gimp

    Ooh creepy

    I'm tempted to rejoin FB to have a nosey

    1. kdh0009
      Meh

      Re: Ooh creepy

      Is it possible to 'rejoin' Facebook? I didn't think you could leave unless you were willing to make a full time job out of slowly erasing yourself post by post.

      1. Jamie Jones Silver badge

        Re: Ooh creepy

        "Is it possible to 'rejoin' Facebook? I didn't think you could leave unless you were willing to make a full time job out of slowly erasing yourself post by post."

        It's been possible to delete a facebook account for many years.

        http://deletefacebook.com/

  5. Senior Ugli

    New FB slogan

    "Know stuff about people without knowing them"

    Works for the NSA too

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The converse is also true

    in that you can find out which of your 'friends' is a FB addict or just a one post wonder.

    Or even those in your address book who aren't even FB users.

    You show me yours if I will show you mine?

    anon for obvious reasons (I'm not on FB any more)

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Already using it for a few months. I must say it is a nice feature, it helps people find stuff and links more easily, and that is also the downside.

    It is a great feature to search things, it is less great when you get searched. I use it quite often, and saw I can find much more than the profile of someone shows me. Do that and link a few relations and you end up with so much more info on someone, it's a stalker's dream really.

    Overall a useful feature, but not great in the current environment(with the privacy stuff)

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I realise that other probably will find it useful - but I fail to see the purpose, for FB-users at least.

    Most of the people I know on FB are people I actually know - anyone who isn't, I don't really care about.

    So it'll let me search for friends of my friends who like bananas and whisky? So what? So I can write the a message saying "Oh I like bananas and whisky as well - should we hang out?"

    Explain?

  9. APA
    Coffee/keyboard

    For example, they can ask "people who like BNP [British National Party] and The Police" and discover that fewer than 100 Facebookers are fans of extreme right wing politics and Sting's band.

    New keyboard please.

    1. Wilseus
      Headmaster

      For example, they can ask "people who like BNP [British National Party] and The Police" and discover that fewer than 100 Facebookers are fans of extreme right wing politics and Sting's band.

      Not that it's massively relevant to the article, but the BNP is a party of the far LEFT, not the right.

      1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

        No, the British Nationalist Party (BNP) are a far-right organisation. Far-left is associated with communism, which the BNP most definitely don't support.

        1. Wilseus
          FAIL

          No, you're quite wrong. The BNP's policies are primarily left wing. Their policies on housing, protectionism, health etc are considerably to the left of both Labour and the Lib Dems. Yes, they are authoritarian, but that has nothing to do with left/right. Most of their voters are also disaffected ex Labour voters.

          By voting me down you've simply shown that you know little about politics.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Wilseus is entirely correct. The BNP are a party with old fashioned Far Left policies, and are only a force in Labour areas of the country. They basically support authoritarianism, central planning and large government controling people's lives to a high degree, which is equivalent to socialism. Anyone on the right (like myself) will probably disagree with most of their policies.

            They are *not* right wing in any way, shape or form.

  10. Jim Wilkinson

    Scary

    How many FB users realise, or care, their posts are accessible and subject to data harvesting? It's not 1984, but I wonder what George Orwell would have made of it?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Scary

      Imagine a lolcat stomping on a human face - forever.

    2. Squander Two
      Devil

      Scary?

      Like all men on Facebook, I get loads of "Meet hot young women in your area!" adverts. My daughter recently got into the film "Annie" and I mentioned something about it on Facebook, and all those ads were immediately replaced with "Meet hot young men with very tight trousers and leather hats in your area!" Facebook are apparently the world's most successful data-mining and advert-targetting company, and that's the level of sophistication of their algorithms: "Mentioned a musical, therefore must want gay sex with strangers." They have also sent me adverts for a six-wheeled amphibious assault vehicle and a motorcycle hearse. I have no idea why, and bet they don't know either. Am I scared by their in-depth knowledge of every facet of my life? Ahahahahahahaha.

      1. monkeyfish

        Re: Scary?

        A six-wheeled amphibious assault vehicle and a motorcycle hearse? Sounds like fun, buy them.

        1. Squander Two

          Re: Scary?

          Yeah, I know -- which completely undermines my point, of course. A friend of mine suggested that I should get an amhibious assault motorcycle hearse, and I have to say, what could possibly be better?

      2. Suburban Inmate

        Re: Scary?

        It almost sounds like it would be worth turning off the ad blocker for a bit just for a ruddy good giggle.

        That said, the odd ad has slipped through, most peculiarly for Islamic religious clothing, despite my religious views clearly being "Agnostic". Perhaps they think I'll make my mind up about it when I feel the lovely fabric?

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "...details about the lives of 1.1 billion people..."

    Who has verified this claim and how? It is a classic isn't it, how rumors spread: Everyone parrots what everyone else is saying without giving it a thought! This is like that story...what was it called?...ah...something like..."The emperor has no clothes"?

  12. cosymart
    Devil

    Assumptions....

    People assume that your FB profile is true but anyone with any amount of sense is going to tweak things or just tell porkies. "It's the internet, it must be true!! Ha!"

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