Is your Facebook account becoming a mess? Does your Timeline have embarrassing photos, inappropriate tags, awkward posts? Is your Facebook cluttered with game requests? Have you given permission to dozens of Facebook apps you don’t use anymore?
Your Facebook account may have posts, tags or photos you need to delete. Your Timeline may also be filled with game requests from friends who are eager to have you join them in playing their latest game. You also might have given permission to apps you no longer use but have access to your account. The more apps that have access to your Facebook account, the more chances you have of being hacked.
You could spend hours going through your Facebook account manually, trying to clean it up, but here are some tools, tips and tricks to get the job done in a matter of minutes.
Deleting Embarrassing Facebook Photos, Tags and Posts
It happens. You may have the most respectful, well-behaved friends in the world, but inevitably a rogue post, picture, or tag is posted that may be less than flattering or downright embarrassing. You can have your Facebook privacy settings locked down to Friends Only but don’t be fooled. If even Mark Zuckerberg can have his private photos leaked from Facebook, you can too. Assume anything on Facebook is public.
Employers, clients and university admissions offices may all be judging you based on Facebook. You may think that no one but your friends can see your Facebook profile, but you never know when an overly zealous intern somewhere may be trying to impress someone by digging up dirt on you.
The new Open Graph search on Facebook will make finding your information much easier so make sure your information is what you want the world to see.
You can moan about the unfairness of it or argue the legality of Facebook scrutiny. Or you can simply wash your Facebook clean.
SimpleWash is a Facebook app that will scan your Facebook Timeline for inappropriate posts, photos and tags. Developed by college students at Kent State, this tool can help you find everything from the eyebrow-raising to shocking.
To use this tool, go to the SimpleWash website and log in with your Facebook account. Give the app permission to access your account and your News Feed.
SimpleWash searches for the basic inappropriate terms, such as profanity, drugs and alcohol, plus you can enter custom search terms. If you want to find posts mentioning your boss, Mr. Worstbossever, just enter his name into the search box to add it as a search term.
SimpleWash searches in English and you can add other languages: Spanish, German and Italian.
The app searches your wall, photos, tagged photos, Likes, Liked links, status updates, and Liked pages. The app shows you how far back it searched and you can click on a button to go back even farther.
After I discovered SimpleWash from fellow blogger, Katy Ryan Schamberger at V3, I decided to give it a whirl. My Facebook account was very clean, perhaps indicating that I need to go out and have more fun in life?
SimpleWash can sometimes find false positives. On my Timeline the app picked up a misspelling of “as” and a Wonder of Tech article from last year, Do You Feel the Need for Speed?, highlighting the word “Speed”.
If you discover a post you’d like to remove from Facebook, click on the post to go to Facebook and delete it. You can then be comforted that your moment(s) of embarrassment will be gone from your Timeline. Make sure your kids use this too!
Block Game Requests
Even if you enjoy playing games such as SongPop on Facebook, you may have friends who pester you with multiple requests to join them in games you have no interest in playing. Sure, you can unfriend these folks but you may want to take less drastic action.
To stop a friend from sending you invitations to games, click on this Facebook link: https://www.facebook.com/appcenter/requests?ref=reminders. You’ll be shown a list of current invitations from your Facebook friends. Click on the “X” to decline the request.
You will be given an option to:
- Block all requests for that game or
- Block all requests from that person
There is no way to block all game requests from all people. While you may be wishing for that universal button, someday you may be glad to receive a SongPop invitation from your good buddy, Justin Bieber!
I discovered this very cool trick thanks to Kim Castleberry at Just Ask Kim. If you haven’t discovered her amazing blog yet, you’re in for a treat. If you’re a blogger, it’s a must read.
Clean Your Permissions
As you’re having fun with Facebook, you may be giving permission to different third party apps to access your account. Over time you may have given access to apps you’re no longer using. Cleaning up your permissions will help to keep your Facebook account safe from possible hackers.
I first wrote about Clean Up Your Permissions! last year. If you checked your permissions but haven’t done it since, then it’s time to check them again. By visiting mypermissions.org you can easily see which apps have access to your Facebook, other social media and email accounts, and revoke permission for the ones you’re not using. You can even get alerts when an app is accessing your Facebook account.
Here’s a video showing how it works:
You can also get a free My Permissions Cleaner app for your iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch in the iTunes App Store.
I set up a reminder for myself with IFTTT (If This Then That) to clean my permissions monthly. Make sure to clean your permissions not just for Facebook but for other social media sites you use.
By keeping your Facebook clean, you’ll make sure to avoid unwanted posts, photos, tags, game requests and permissions. A few minutes spent cleaning your Facebook can make for a much better Facebook experience for many seasons to come!
Have you checked your Facebook account with SimpleWash? What did you find? Have you blocked any Facebook games? Do you clean up your permissions regularly? Let us know in the Comments section below!