Finding Gay Men in Iran with Facebook Graph Search

Also single women who like men, getting drunk, and who live near you; Falun Gong aficionados in China; Italian Catholic mothers who like Durex…

Behold, the power of Big Data!

I can’t help but feel this kind of data should never be compiled.

Earlier this month, Facebook announced an upcoming new feature that would help users explore the social network in a “whole new way”.

Currently in limited beta, Facebook Graph Search, provides Facebook users with an easier way to find the information you have shared on the social network.

Alarm bells rang in the heads of the privacy-conscious, disturbed that Facebook Graph Search might dredge up data about yourself that you once posted (and have forgotten about) or how the system could be used to cross-relate different pieces of information about you with potentially uncomfortable or unpleasant results.

A new blog called Actual Facebook Graph Searches highlights the potential problem very clearly.

For instance, here are married people who like prostitutes:

Charming. I wonder what their partners think?

Perhaps more sinisterly, here are Chinese people who like the banned Falun Gong sect:

And, if you’re wondering who to invite down the pub on a Friday night, here are single women who are interested in men, and even more interested in getting drunk:

What a time saver Facebook Graph Search can be! I guess it’s cheaper than online dating..”

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