26 January 2014

How to clean up your Facebook profile of old posts, messages, pictures, and videos

All of us have posts that we want to clean up from the past. They may be posts that are now embarrassing, posts with exes that we want gone off of our profile, or maybe you are interviewing for a job that you know asks for your credentials and you want to make sure your profile looks good. Facebook does not allow the average user to be able to easily see posts from a long time ago. If you are a geek and know how to use Facebook's FQL, you can query all previous posts for specific keywords. There are a couple of options:

  1. You can go into the general account setting and click on Download a copy of your Facebook data. This will download all of your facebook data divided up into separate files for each section of your profile, including all of your pictures and videos. Once you have the download, you can then open up the wall.htm file in Excel. It contains all of your wall posts from the beginning of your profile. In order to use this, you can search the spreadsheet for keywords. The results will have the exact date/time it was posted. You can then go to your Facebook profile and find that exact post by clicking on the year first, then the month, and finally scrolling through all posts in that month to find the specific post. You can then click on the drop-down and select Delete.
  2. There is a Facebook app called Search My Posts. This app will allow you to enter keywords and will parse through your profile and find all posts with that keyword. For posts on your profile, this will allow you to click on the Link to Post to take you directly to the post. You can then click on the drop-down and select Delete. This app will also list posts you did on other people's profiles, but does not have a link to the post. You will have to note the date/time, go to the user's profile, and then click on the year/month to parse through all posts for that month until you find your post. At that point, you can delete your post. The same goes for posts you made in groups.
As for recommendations, this solution pertains to both of the above posts. You cannot remove a recommendation from Facebook. You must go to the web page that you clicked on the Facebook recommendation. The way to do this is to click on the link to the Facebook post, if you are using option 2, or go to the date it was posted for option 1, and then click on the link in the Facebook post to take you to the page that was recommended. It is there that you can now click on the Facebook recommend again to remove the recommendation. Once you remove the recommendation, the post disappears off of Facebook.

As far as Facebook messages goes, Facebook has archived the messages in the past, meaning they were not deleted. When you go into your messages box, there is an archive box that you can click on. It is there that you will find all of the messages from the past that were archived. They can now be deleted. You first click on the message. Next, you click on actions and click Delete Conversation. That will permanently delete the message from your Facebook profile. 

For your pictures and videos, I suggest using the first option, or manually parsing through them on your profile. 

Keeping your Facebook profile safe and out of trouble in civil court, criminal court, work, and home life is wise. I would leave out alcohol, guns, sex, violence, and topics of controversy off of Facebook. These topics can cause you to lose your job, lose your family, be sued, or incriminate you in a criminal court system. If you have any of these topics on Facebook, I suggest cleaning them off. I am not a criminal/civil/psychology expert, but common sense will tell you these things, especially in today's digital world. Information is magnified and misconstrued by many because the reader injects their own emotion into the text, not yours, thereby possibly leading to ramifications. 


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