In July of this year, Facebook added a “graph search” feature for English users in the US, however, this change affects every Facebook user (including Icelanders) as all public information including users’ location and the pages users “like” becomes easily searchable. Facebook states: “Now you can find more of what you’re looking for on Facebook and discover fun connections between people, places and things,” even when you wish it wouldn’t.
Tom Scott, an early beta-tester of the feature, was the first to point out that the ability to search these connections may not be in the users’ best interests. Tom created a Tumblr blog in January documenting “Actual Facebook Graph Searches” that he found either amusing or shocking as a way to highlight the dangerous consequences of sharing your seemingly private information with Facebook. Many of these searches were so embarrassing Tom felt the need to protect the identities of those who appeared in the results, however these efforts increasingly prove fruitless.
Here are a few simple graph searches that tell us what Facebook’s data catalogues have to say about Iceland and its people:
Despite Jón Gnarr’s public disavowal of Russia’s anti-LGBTQ laws and a call to dissolve Reykjavík’s connection to Moscow as a sister city, more than 100 people like Jón Gnarr and Moscow, Russia.
While navigating the dating scene in Iceland just got easier as more than 100 people like ÍSLENDINGA-APP and live in Iceland. This mobile application allows Icelanders to determine how closely related they are to each other before hooking up.
When it comes to setting the mood for ÍSLENDINGA-APP approved romantic evenings, fewer than 100 men who live in Iceland like Champagne. Which might be because champagne is allegedly linked to illegal stripping and human trafficking at so-called ‘Champagne Clubs’ in Reykjavík.
Luckily more than 100 males who live in Iceland like Fáðu já, a sexual education movie that promotes asking for sexual consent, or “getting a yes,” before engaging in sexual activities.
Sadly, nobody living in Iceland likes Þjóðhátið í Eyjum AND Fáðu já, which is unfortunate since the Þjóðhátið í Eyjum Festival is notorious for fostering a high number of incidents of rape each year.
Fewer than 100 people are current Rio Tinto Alcan employees who like Iceland, which is not surprising since this aluminium company has caused irreparable damage to Icelandic nature.
More than 100 people like Edward Snowden who live in Iceland, however this will not help him gain political asylum, and he of all people would probably advise Internet users to stop sharing their personal information on Facebook.
While this list might make you think twice before broadcasting on Facebook, Tom Scott sardonically writes, “Don’t worry, we’ll all be used to this in a few weeks’ time.”