Facebook answers questions about privacy in Graph Search

The social network attempts to educate members and calm fears ahead of a more widespread rollout.

James Martin/CNET

Facebook is going on the defensive with an explanatory new blog post and video that attempt to assuage privacy concerns around Graph Search, the company's beta search tool for uncovering people, places, photos, and interests that have been buried alive inside the social network.

Graph Search, launched in beta about two weeks ago, offers Facebook users a new way to discover information on the social network, but it also exposes a copious amount of personal data that members may not realize is available for public scrutiny. "Actual Facebook Graph Searches," a one-day Tumblr experiment , exposed the tell-all impactions of an omnipotent search engine. Cue the shock and horror.

Facebook now seems to have an active interest in calming fears as the controversial product rolls out to more people and the social network gets ready to report its fourth-quarter earnings this Wednesday.

The company today publicly answered some frequently asked questions on Graph Search and privacy. The information falls in line with the details that Facebook shared on launch day, though with a few more instructive points on how to control the audience of your "likes," how to adjust who can see your friend and family lists, and how to review all the photos you've been tagged in.

For conscientious Facebook users, the information likely comes off as rather trite, even if it does highlight yet again just how complicated it is to comprehensively manage privacy settings on Facebook.

About the author

Jennifer Van Grove covered the social beat for CNET. She loves Boo the dog, CrossFit, and eating vegan. Her jokes are often in poor taste, but her articles are not.


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