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The creepy possibilities of Facebook’s public Graph Search

Millions of people in the U.S. have it now. Here's what you can do with it.


Cody Permenter

Internet Culture

Posted on Jul 8, 2013   Updated on Jun 1, 2021, 11:54 am CDT

Facebook will be rolling out an improved search feature Monday to millions in the United States. And while this new function will make searching on the social networking site much easier, it can also be creepier—a lot creepier. 

Coined “Graph Search,” the tool allows a user to enter more precise searches using commonly-known Facebook terms, such as “friends who live nearby and like rap music.” You can use terms like “likes,” “lives,” “is interested in,” “is friends with,” and so on. What makes this new search process slightly alarming are the combinations of terms the search allows. 

The Tumblr “Actual Facebook Graph Searches” compiles some of the more eerie or comical searches a Facebook user can make by using the new feature. Some of the more memorable include: 

“Mothers of Jews who like Bacon”

“Single women who live nearby and who are interested in men and who like Getting Drunk!” 

“People who like Focus on the Family and Neil Patrick Harris” 

Here are a few of our own: 

Uh, what?

That’s ironic.

A surefire way to find your Slytherin friends.

What is even worse is that all of your graph searches are stored within Facebook. Those embarrassing and personal searches will be saved in your “Only Me” activity. Facebook of course wouldn’t advertise this, but it is very easy to clear for those who know about that hidden feature. 

Graph Search has been around since January in the Beta stage, and if you can get past creepy search capabilities and privacy qualms, it actually does some pretty cool things. 

You can search for photographs with specific friends (even taken at certain locations) which makes finding those hidden photographs from a few months back more accessible. 

The search function also paves the way for Facebook to cut into Yelp, the leading Internet rating and review service. A Facebook user can now look up companies that their friends like if they are seeking a similar service. If you need a new doctor or dentist, just simply search and see what offices your friends like. 

Pros and cons together, it seems like Graph Search is here to stay. And if you don’t like it—just wait a few months. If history shows anything, Facebook will probably change again

Photo via mkhmarketing/Flickr

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*First Published: Jul 8, 2013, 2:16 pm CDT