Last year, Facebook helpfully introduced a feature that makes individual posts searchable, rather than just people and brands. At the time, the search was limited to friends. Now it includes all public posts including yours, making it a great time for a Facebook privacy reminder.
There are many good reasons to search, such as being able to track attitudes about a specific news item or a collection of adorable Bernese Mountain Dogs. However, there are also a lot of downsides, especially if your Facebook history includes incriminating photos and posts of that pantless barrel in 2006. Facebook is done. two thousand billion messages in its index, several of which are yours.
Here is an example provided by Facebook of how a typical search might work, to better understand the ramifications:
Cared for! Now replace “water on mars” with “drunk butts lol” and your name will appear under the Public Posts heading.
You might not mind that at all, which denotes an admirable degree of self-confidence. If so, here’s how to make your public posts private.
For future posts
See that little padlock in the upper right corner of your Facebook page? Click on it. Then click Who can see my stuff?
Fortunately, Facebook doesn’t require you to decide on privacy settings for each individual post. Under Who can see my future posts? you will see two main options: Public Where Friends. If you want your posts to be included in Facebook search, go for Public. Otherwise, go with friends. If you want to shout into the void, click More options and select Just me.