Tweet Follow @callumhaywood


About the Public Facebook statuses tool

How does it work?
It simply queries Facebook's Graph API and outputs the results. There is nothing on this website that cannot be accessed by anyone else. Try it out, GET https://graph.facebook.com/search?q=hate%20my%20boss&type=post&locale=en_GB and you'll see the raw JSON output. This site does some filtering to make the output more useful, for example omitting all posts except status updates, and only showing posts in the last column that contain a phone number. Finally this site caches data for the last hour, so updates may not be realtime, but should not be longer than an hour out of date. Absolutely no data from Facebook is being collected or stored.

These people probably wouldn't want this info publishing, would they?
People have lost their jobs in the past due to some of the posts they put on Facebook, so maybe this demonstrates why. Efforts have been made to remove any personal data from the results, such as the actual phone numbers, surnames, etc. The data is still easily accessible from the API, the filters have been put in place to protect the site from legal issues. Anyone can access the information that is displayed on the site.

Are you claiming the people featured are "hating their boss", "hungover", "taking drugs" or "have got a new phone number"?
Absolutely not. The site simply queries Facebook for posts that match keywords associated with those subjects and displays them. Just because someone is appearing under one of the columns does not in any way form mean that we are claiming that is what these people are doing, it is just an experiment, and sometimes it returns random, irrelevant data.

What is the lesson to be learned?
Just make sure your Facebook privacy settings are sufficient, for example don't publish status updates containing potentially risky material as 'Public' because then they have a good chance of showing up in the public Graph API. You don't even need an access token to get this info, but the problem is not with Facebook themselves, when used correctly, their privacy controls are very good. The problem is how people simply don't understand the risks of sharing everything.

How do I make sure that I don't end up on here?
Just go to https://www.facebook.com/settings/?tab=privacy and make sure Control Your Default Privacy is not set to "Public". You can set it to "Friends" but for the best privacy it is recommended you choose "Custom" and go through each option to choose who can see what.

Where did the idea come from?
The idea came from Tom Scott's I Know What You Did Five Minutes Ago video. It demonstrates some very important points that consider the future of social networking and it's impacts on a connected society. As Tom stated in the video, Twitter's privacy control is binary however with Facebook it is a different story, their privacy controls are very effective when used correctly.

I heard you were on Fox News, how can I see the video?
You can watch my interview with Fox News on the Fox website at http://video.foxnews.com/v/1713328678001/website-posts-embarrassing-facebook-statuses/?playlist_id=163197 or below.







Disclaimer: All data is pulled directly from Facebook, and it is publicly accessible via the Graph API. I cannot be held responsible for any persons actions as a result of using this experiment. Absolutely no information from any of the data providers includes, but not limited to Facebook, Foursquare, Twitter, Yahoo, or Google is being collected or stored. All attempts have been made to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the information provided on this website. However, the information is provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Callum Haywood does not accept any responsibility or liability for the accuracy, content, completeness, legality, or reliability of the information contained on this website. No warranties, promises and/or representations of any kind, expressed or implied, are given as to the nature, standard, accuracy or otherwise of the information provided in this website nor to the suitability or otherwise of the information to your particular circumstances. We shall not be liable for any loss or damage of whatever nature (direct, indirect, consequential, or other) whether arising in contract, tort or otherwise, which may arise as a result of your use of (or inability to use) this website, or from your use of (or failure to use) the information on this site. This website provides links to other websites owned by third parties. The content of such third party sites is not within our control, and we cannot and will not take responsibility for the information or content thereon. Links to such third party sites are not to be taken as an endorsement by Callum Haywood of the third party site, or any products promoted, offered or sold on the third party site, nor that such sites are free from computer viruses or anything else that has destructive properties. We cannot and do not take responsibility for the collection or use of personal data from any third party site. In addition, we will not accept responsibility for the accuracy of third party advertisements.


Server Identifier: EU-FR-1


network monitoring tool