We Know What You’re Doing: Website exposes Facebook stupidity

facebook eye

For all the uproar you hear in the tech press about online privacy, it’s remarkable how many people violate their own privacies on a regular basis. And now a new website called “We Know What You’re Doing” seeks to expose just how foolish many people are about what they post publicly on the Web.

A brief look at We Know What You’re Doing (aka WKWYD), which was launched by 18-year-old British Web designer Callum Haywood, shows just how many absurd, ridiculous, and downright idiotic things people say — publicly — on Facebook.

The site uses Facebook’s Graph API, as well as publicly available Foursquare check-ins, to automatically generate streams of brainlessness, vitriol, and over-sharing from publicly available Facebook posts. These posts are categorized into four columns: Who wants to get fired? (people ranting about their job, bosses); Who’s hungover?; Who’s taking drugs?; and Who’s got a new phone number? Each post includes the user’s profile picture, and lists their first name and last initial. In other words, there’s nothing anonymous about this — that’s the point.

We Know What You're Doing

As Haywood explains on his site, Facebook users need to be aware of what their privacy settings are, and to make sure not to “publish status updates containing potentially risky material as ‘Public.'”

“…The problem is not with Facebook themselves, when used correctly, their privacy controls are very good,” writes Haywood on WKWYD’s “About” page. “The problem is… people simply don’t understand the risks of sharing everything.”

We would argue that, not only do some people not understand the risk of over-sharing and brutal honesty on social media, but they don’t realize that they are making these comments public in the first place. After all, if you have to log into a website in order to enter, it seems logical that everything that happens within that site remains behind lock and key. Obviously, as WKWYD shows in stark black and white, this misconception still exists, despite the fact that these same concerns have been around for years.

On Twitter, Haywood said that the response to WKWYD has been “overwhelmingly positive so far,” and indicated that more than 100,000 unique visitors have gone to the site in the 27 hours since its launch.

In terms of making sure you don’t end up on WKWYD, Haywood explains on the site that users to need check out their Facebook privacy settings, “and make sure Control Your Default Privacy is not set to ‘Public.'” Haywood further recommends that users choose the “Custom” privacy settings, “and go through each option to choose who can see what.”

Sage advice for an 18-year-old. If only the rest of us could be so wise.

As a side note, Haywood says the inspiration for WKWYD came from a talk by Tom Scott (the guy who created the Google Glass parody video, and Klout parody site Klouchebag.com) entitled “I know what you did five minutes ago,” which we’ve embedded below.

Social Media

Kim Kardashian can get a deepfake taken off YouTube. It’s much harder for you

YouTube took down an incredibly realistic — and fake — video purporting to show Kim Kardashian West discussing a shadowy organization called “Spectre” and mocking her fans for violating copyright.
Social Media

Maybe you missed something, so here's how to take another look at that Snap

The people you follow on Snapchat are important to you. If you get frustrated when you're trying to look at a friend's Snap or Story and it disappears, here's how to replay a Snapchat message or post.
Social Media

You can delete Snapchat messages in a snap with these simple tips

If you've ever sent a message to someone and wish you could delete it, Snapchat has a feature you'll like. Yes, it lets you delete messages you've already sent. There are some limitations, though. Here's how to delete Snapchat messages.
News

Brush up on your makeup skills with YouTube’s new augmented reality feature

YouTube will soon let users try on makeup while watching popular makeup tutorials through augmented reality. Viewers will be able to actually try on the makeup products the online tutorials are showcasing and promoting. 
News

Congress already wants to block rollout of Facebook’s cryptocurrency

It only took a few hours after Facebook provided details of its Libra cryptocurrency on Tuesday for lawmakers in Congress to tell the social media giant to pump the breaks. Facebook was asked to stop development until Congress weighs in.
Computing

What is Libra? Here’s what you need to know about Facebook’s new cryptocurrency

Facebook released a white paper announcing its new cryptocurrency, Libra, which it intends as a way to enable more people around the world to process online payments. Here's how the new blockchain technology works.
News

YouTube could make big changes to children’s content amid federal investigation

YouTube is considering major changes to its recommendation algorithm amid an investigation by the Federal Trade Commission into how it handles videos aimed at children. The investigation is in its late stages, and is in response to…
News

Facebook’s content moderators break their silence on terrifying work conditions

Content moderators for Facebook are overworked and overstressed to the point of unhealthy results. Last year, a moderator collapsed at his desk while on the clock and died of a heart attack. 
Social Media

Keep up with the latest from your favorite Pinterest accounts with these tips

Your first step as a new Pinterest user is to follow your friends and favorite influencers so your feed is full of awesome, interesting stuff you love. Here's how to follow someone on Pinterest.
Social Media

A new Senate bill would fundamentally change the internet as we know it

A new bill in the U.S. Senate could cause the internet as we know it to cease to exist by holding major tech companies like Facebook or YouTube liable for anything posted on their platforms. 
News

Instagram CEO says the app doesn’t listen to your conversations

Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri told CBS News' Gail King in a recent interview that Instagram does not listen to its users, even though you may see ads related to products you were talking about with a friend, but never actually searched for.
Social Media

Brace yourselves. Instagram is getting ready to show you even more ads

Hate Instagram ads? You're not going to like what's coming -- Instagram ads will soon be part of the Explore section too. Instagram says it's a way for users to find new brands to connect with, while advertisers can reach additional users.
Small Business

These apps will take your small business to the next level

There are a few apps you need to keep things running when you're on the go or in the office. Here are our picks for the best apps for small businesses to keep your money in check, promotions on point, and your time accounted for.
Social Media

Deepfake or fake news? Zuckerberg says Facebook might treat them differently

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that his company is considering treating deepfakes differently from traditional fake news and misinformation, which could make it easier for Facebook to delete the altered videos before they spread.