Shame on me for not writing about Facewash[i] before Facebook Graph Search. I know you are all wondering what you can do to occupy yourself before Graph Search is launches on your Facebook page. If you trust this third party App[ii] you can search for anything other than what Facewash determines is “clean” content in your comments, shares, pictures, etc. I learned about Facewash this morning from a post on my newsfeed from Digital Trends, whom I trust. I also found a story by the Today Show website on Facewash, footnoted below.
While the Today Show site is certainly credible, I am happy to tell you that I like Digital Trends.[iii] They offer product reviews and news about new trends for consumers who want to stay ahead of the game and enjoy the latest products and services in the technology arena. With 158K likes and 3,993 people talking about Digital Trends[iv], I think it is safe to trust the Apps they share with us. 11 hours after their post about Facewash there are 47 shares, 37 likes and a few positive comments. Also, when searching for negative intelligence on this new App, I found no cause for concern.
How can you know if you should trust a third party App?
I imagine, but cannot confirm, that third party App promoters conduct due diligence to make sure users privacy information is secure. Could I be wrong? Yes. This morning when I clicked the Facewash link, Facebook asked me if I would allow the App. I paused for a moment, looked back at Digital Trends, and decided to have a go with Facewash. I elected to skip the “feel free to post on my behalf” option and arrived at the Facewash App.
At first, I thought something was wrong when it took Facewash considerable time to search through my Facebook timeline. It returned the Ramones as a potentially unclean item for my consideration. Thanks, I think I will still like the Ramones. Next, I saw a Packers Suck page that was no longer available to me when I clicked on it to unlike. Don’t get me wrong, I truly dislike the Packers but I am trying to be a better sports fan and keep negative comments in my head.[v]
How does Facewash decide what is clean content and what should be flagged?
Then, I had a thought bubble: “What does Facewash consider clean and what if I disagree?” I chose some potentially offensive search terms and typed them into the search box on the upper left corner of the Facewash site. When I clicked search my Facebook profile picture started moving from left to right on my screen like a progress bar – it shows you it’s working! To the extent Facewash works correctly and goes far enough back in time, I appear to be in the clear of foul content people might find when Graph Searching me.
Finally, I had a chance to reflect and write about my experience this morning. Now, several hours later I wonder if I have become a hamster running on a social media wheel. Did I have a choice other than to experience Facewash? I did. Nevertheless, I elected to proceed because I want to keep up with technology because I am a communications guy. I hope you have good luck Facewashing and I hope to hear from you as to whether this is a good practice in your opinion.
[i] Article: Digital Life on Today: “FaceWash” app finds all the filth on your Facebook Timeline
[v] Tip: Don’t watch sports and attack your sports rivals online.