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Facebook offer security measures for Graph Search

Facebook has been outlining the new security features of its Graph Search facility in response to concerns that it could be a tool for sinister stalking activity on the social media platform.

The specific details of its safeguards relate to adults attempting to target minors. This kind of request will be outlawed by Graph Search. The company explained the restrictions. "On Facebook, many things teens are likely to do – such as adding information to their timelines or sharing status updates – can only be shared with a maximum of Friends of Friends," their information indicated. "In addition, for certain searches that could help to identify a young person by age or by their location, results will only show to that person’s Friends, or Friends of Friends who are also between the age of 13-17."

That’s a useful, if rather basic, safeguard, but it still seems that Graph Search could be a useful aid to a would-be stalker of an adult. Facebook suggested a few safeguards that were frankly sketchy. Users are told to check their Activity Log and About sections to make sure they are sharing information with only the right people.

This continues Facebook’s attitude of leaving it up to users to make sure their security is adequate. Critics believe that Facebook needs to do more to ensure that users do not assume that Graph Search is just another way of allowing access to their personal details.

At the same time, there is concern that the social media network is encouraging misogyny with the prevalence of offensive images that appear to glorify rape and domestic violence. Ms Magazine raised the issue of disturbing images and offensively-named Facebook groups, writing: "Those in a position of power at Facebook are responsible for the choice they make to either condone or condemn the use of sexual assault as humour."

"We take reports of questionable and offensive content very seriously," Facebook responded. "However, we also want Facebook to be a place where people can openly discuss issues and express their views, while respecting the rights and feelings of others."

Course they do.

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