The Student Newspaper of DePaul University

The DePaulia

The Student Newspaper of DePaul University

The DePaulia

The Student Newspaper of DePaul University

The DePaulia

Facebook’s new graph search tool raises privacy concerns

Facebook users are now able to link their own interests to the shared content, tags and photos of other members through the site’s new graph search tool.

This tool provides a new wave of inquiry and social suggestion. It is a journalist’s dream as shared content is tracked and extensively organized.

Prior to the invention of this seek-and-find machine, Facebook’s main function was to let users connect and communicate with people they already knew.

What makes the graph search tool more significant than other search engines or social media monsters is its ability to insert personal details. This not only pertains to the user’s friends, but also to strangers.

“It makes me take a harder look at who’s in my circle of friends,” said Amy Merrick, a journalism professor at DePaul.

Graph search invades compilations of online profiles, but it can also filter out topical details like location, gender and occupation.

It differs from Google because its content is all generated through Facebook. However, all queries bring up new information based on connections to friends or friends of friends. With hundreds of input options, the search criteria are endless.

“Graph search is a more precise way of crowd sourcing,” said Jeff Kirk, a senior at DePaul.

This makes things much easier for journalists, as it will provide connections that would otherwise take a long time to make.

The unknown content also offers fresh story ideas. However, within this virtual form of instant gratification, verification is always an issue.

“If you don’t have a personal introduction to that person then you don’t know their agenda or even if they’re telling the truth,” said Merrick.

The search tool is not only challenged to objectify a new platform of truth, but also questions the issue of identity.

With fraud so prevalent in a technological society, perhaps the most investigative reporters could stumble into a lie.

Regardless, any advancement in social networking can be looked at as an advancement for mankind.

As journalists work to recognize stories of hope, innovation and prosperity, this social search engine aids them.

As connections are made and journalists are aided, the public will eventually be able to recognize an online form of transcendentalism.



Protect your Facebook Profile:


Š—¢ Restrict “likes” to your close friends

Š—¢ “Unlike” inappropriate pages

Š—¢ Hide “friends” list, relationship statuses and photo albums you wish to remain private

Š—¢ Un-tag yourself from compromising photos

        Š—¢ Check privacy settings frequently

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