With the announcement last week of the new Facebook Graph Search feature, users of the social network have been starting to think a bit more carefully about their online privacy. But when you read about programmes that are specifically designed to clean up your Facebook profile, you have to wonder if prevention may be better than cure.
FaceWash is one such web app that scans your Facebook for comments posted on your wall, photos you’re tagged in, photos you’ve posted, links you’ve liked, status updates and more for offensive content. You can then delete content that is flagged by FaceWash so that your profile is a slightly more politically correct corner of the web.
But this does then beg the question; why post such things in the first place? The public perception of Facebook – and to be fair, the internet at large – is that regardless of so-called privacy settings, you should assume that anything posted on Facebook has the potential to be seen by the whole world.
So instead of going to the trouble of trawling your online accounts for any comments or updates that you think might be inappropriate, it would perhaps be better to think about things before we post them and adjust our online behaviours. It’s easy for something to be taken out of context or for it to reach a larger audience than intended, so if you’re in doubt about what you’re saying or the privacy of where you are sharing information, maybe you shouldn’t be sharing it online at all.