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Facebook Hoax: “Graphic App” and Your Privacy

Samyak Lalit | July 18, 2013 (Last update: April 24, 2021)

Samyak Lalit is an Indian author and disability rights activist. He is the principal author and founder of projects like TechWelkin, WeCapable, Viklangta, Kavita Kosh among many others.

A few moments ago, I wrote about a Facebook hoax regarding copyright on intellectual property. Circulation of another chain message is rampant on Facebook since the beginning of 2013. Lately, I have been seeing my friend network also falling prey to it. Before I proceed, here is the sample letter in question:

Hello to all of you who are on my list of contacts of Facebook. I would like to ask a favor of you…. You may not know that Facebook has changed its privacy configuration once again. Thanks to the new “Graphic app”, any person in Facebook anywhere in the world can see our photos, our “like” and our “comments”. During the next two weeks, I am going to keep this message posted and I ask you to do the following and comment “DONE”. Those of my friends who do not maintain my information in private will be eliminated from my list of friends, because I want the information I share with you, my friends, to remain among my friends and not be available to the whole world. I want to be able to publish photos of my friends and family without strangers being able to see them which is what happens now when you choose “like” or “comment”.

Unfortunately we cannot change this configuration because Facebook has made it like this. So, please, place your cursor over my photo that appears in this box (without clicking) and a window will open. Now move the cursor to the word “Friends”, again without clicking and then on “Settings”. Uncheck “Life Events” and “Comments and Like”. This way my activity with my family and friends will no longer be made public. Now, copy and paste this text on your own wall (do not “share” it!). Once I see it published on your page, I will uncheck the same for you.

As I indicated before, it’s nothing but a hoax. You should not post on your wall nor should you encourage your friends to do so. The “Graphic App” mentioned in this message is perhaps a pointer towards Graph Search feature of Facebook.

SEE ALSO: Facebook Hoax: “In response to the new Facebook guidelines…”

Although Facebook’s privacy measures have sometimes come under the scanner –but as blatant privacy breach as mentioned in this message is not at all true. First of all, there is nothing like a “Graphic App”. Secondly, Graph Search feature respects user’s privacy. An official statement from Facebook clears the air:

Graph Search results are personalized for you, just like News Feed is unique to you. For example, if you search for Photos of Tokyo, you’ll see photos friends took in Tokyo and shared with you, as well as Public photos related to Tokyo.

This means if 2 people search “Photos of my friends in Tokyo,” they’re going to see different results.

This hoax is harmful too!

Not only that this message is a hoax but also, if you follow the instructions given in the message, you will hamper your Facebook experience . The instructions given in this message, essentially, change your settings and stop you from knowing what your friends are doing (of course, you get to only those things that your friends share publicly)…

Therefore, this message is an attempt to fool Facebook users and making some nice features of Facebook go useless.


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