You Can View Your Facebook Search History

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There was a recent article on Buzzfeed (posted on February 28) that called attention to an interesting cache that Facebook has carefully stored away. If you go to your settings, click ‘Activity Log’ and then click ‘More’ until you see an option labeled ‘Search’. After you click on that, a log of all of the searches you have ever made since you joined Facebook will generate. So what’s the big deal? To me, this is a hugely interesting facet of Facebook from an anthropology standpoint – we all know that we can scroll down to our old ‘dark ages’ posts from when we first joined Facebook, but being able to see when and what we have ever searched tells a completely different story.

For one, it provides a huge opportunity for blackmail, or at the very least for nosey friends. Perusing this search log you can see exactly who and what you were obsessing about, and according to the blogger, “It is, of course, a terrible, shameful reminder of past whims, desires, boring queries, and any number of things that should never be and must be immediately killed with hellfire.” Obviously the author was not a fan. Luckily for those with obsessive compulsive creeping (don’t lie, you know you do it), you are able to delete your history.

So why is this information even stored? Facebook has been data collecting for advertising purposes since it was created – and all of the data they gathered was for a clear purpose: to either sell to advertisers or to better know the user (in order to most effectively advertise ‘at’ them.) This information, however, falls into the more ‘personal’ category and I can’t figure out what Facebook would want with it. And besides that, if it was just for the entertainment of the user to look at their past whims, why is the option so hard to find?

 

References

Warzel, Charlie. (2014). You can view your Facebook search history and it is the worst page on

the internet. Retrieved from: http://www.buzzfeed.com/charliewarzel/you-can-now-view-your-facebook-search-history-and-it-is-the

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9 thoughts on “You Can View Your Facebook Search History

  1. I just looked this up on my own Facebook and it was a pretty surreal experience considering I’ve been on Facebook for about seven years (since I was a freshman in high school). There must be thousands of searches! It is incredible that Facebook and other sites have the capacity to store and use information like this. But it’s pretty embarrassing too because I definitely saw some searches from the ‘dark ages.’

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  2. It can be seen as a positive and negative thing I think. It is certainly fun to scroll through memory lane, however, it could easily be used for blackmail. It also reinforces the idea that whatever we view or comment on is forever. Digital mistakes can’t be erased.

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  3. I think the scariest part is that these seemingly insignificant searches are being permanently recorded. When we’re searching, we have little regard for the potential consequences that may result. If more people were aware that features like this one exist, they might be more cautious about what they search.

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  4. I’m not too fond of the fact that Facebook has my entire search history on backup, and they’re just kind of flaunting it to me as a feature instead. Kinda freaks me out to be honest.

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  5. I definitely agree with the previous comments. Al not too fond of the fact that Facebook knows everything I search, it definitely expresses the point that anything you put on the internet or do on the internet is permanent. And that is a very scary thought.

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  6. I definitely agree with the previous comments. I am not too fond of the fact that Facebook knows everything I search, it definitely expresses the point that anything you put on the internet or do on the internet is permanent. And that is a very scary thought.

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  7. This freaks me out. Reading this, I do not even want to ever come across my search history page. I do not think it is relevant in my life and where I am at right now. Yes, it is safe to say that we all creeped when we were first introduced to Facebook. While learning that Facebook has been storing its data since the start of Facebook for only advertising purposes, I think that is a little bit inaccurate. It has been more in depth with our personal lives. The ads that are on the side of my screen, most of the time, do not even appeal to me and I have been a acitve member for about 7-8 years now. What does that say?

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  8. I don’t know how I feel about this. Both Google and Apple do it to us through our smart phones, but everyone’s in a tizzy over Facebook doing it? It’s kind of funny what we condemn and condone.

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