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Before Facebook Graph Search launches, scrub your profile with Facewash


If Facebook has been your de facto social network over the past several years, you’ve probably spent hours with friends and family, exchanging frank and unfiltered conversations, which is normal. But Facebook has come a long way since its founding. And its latest feature, Graph Search, has transformed the social network into a searchable database, meaning that all the embarrassing comments or photos that you’ve forgotten about over the years can resurface with a single query.

Before Graph Search rolls out to everyone, you have some time to go back through your history and delete or hide the comments that might come back and bite you later down the road. And a new Facebook app called Facewash is there to help give your profile a professional gleam.

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Once you’ve given the app permission to your Facebook profile, it scans your wall; photos that you’ve been tagged in; photos you’ve published; links, Facebook Pages, and photos that you’ve liked; and your status updates. And if there’s anything Facewash is concerned about, the offending content is surfaced and linked to. You must then go into each post you want to change, and adjust the privacy settings, or delete the post entirely. If nothing seems out of sorts, Facewash will let you know.

There’s one clear flaw in Facewash: The app only scans through textual content, and flags vulgar words – it will dig up whatever inappropriate word you can think of, including things like “rapist” and “sucks.” But because the app only searches text, there’s a good chance that inappropriate photos will remain undetected. Furthermore, the app doesn’t take context into consideration, which means that sex might be highlighted anyway, even if someone was just asking about the gender of your new puppy.

If you’re not satisfied with the default profanity filters, you can elect to get more specific. In the app’s dashboard, you’ll find a search box in the top-left corner of the page next to your profile photo, Facewash enables users to plug-in customized search terms – so if you know there are certain topics of conversation you want removed, be sure to specify there. And if you want to be certain that your profile is employer-friendly, you’ll of course want to manually run through your profile for a second time.

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