Website exposes dumb Facebook updates

Posted by Emma Woollacott

A British teenager has launched a new site called We Know What You're Doing, exposing some of the suicidally stupid messages people still persist on posting on Facebook.

Callum Heywood snatches updates straight from Facebook's Graph API, based on various keywords. The resuts are classified under four headings: Who wants to get fired? Who's hungover? Who's taking drugs? and Who's got a new phone number?

He says efforts have been made to remove any personal data from the results, such as full phone numbers, surnames and so on. However, as he points out, the data is still easily accessible from the Graph API.

"People have lost their jobs in the past due to some of the posts they put on Facebook, so maybe this demonstrates why," says Heywood.

"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."

Heywood says he'll respond to any requests from users asking for posts to be taken down - although this could take up to an hour. Let's hope Anastasia's boss isn't reading right now: "I hope he dies better yet I feel like killin him," she says.

Over in the drugs section, things are a lot more peaceful, as you might expect. "God is peace and love# God smoke cannabis!!! :o," writes one happy chap.

It's not the first tool of its kind. Two years ago, FacebookSearch launched, performing much the same function. And PleaseRobMe goes one stage further, collating Foursquare checkins as a handy tool for burglars.

Already, though, We Know What You're Doing has gathered over 27,000 followers. Let's hope your boss isn't one.