New Project: Facebook Fail… in real-time!

With all of the controversy regarding Facebook, one thing that bothers me more than anything is it’s seemingly endless disregard for privacy. While I admit it has gotten better in recent times, it’s still very easy to create an account that, by default, reveals everything to everyone.

Enter A horrific domain name, purchased for a different purpose many moons ago but never put into production. I’ve recently converted it to a hotspot for Facebook public data. I apologize for the poor domain name. I don’t like it. I don’t think it represents me well.. but it’s available and dangit, I don’t want to register yet another domain.

It’s amazing what people will put in a Status Update. People are funny, sad, depressing, open and in many cases, just plain weird. Using Reasons To is an amazing view into the mind of the average, public Facebook user, the kind of language they use, and the kinds of things they say. Quite honestly it’s been a really eye opening experience into the minds of the average Joe that exists outside of my own little circle.

Reasons To uses the Facebook Public API ( and jQuery to search public Facebook Status updates and display them for you. Facebook updates are displayed live, in real-time! I’ve picked out some of my favorite gems (that lead to the most interesting comments) as well as left you a search box, so you can search for a phrase yourself.

Profile names and pictures will click through to real Facebook photos.

What’s the goal?

1. Raise awareness regarding the dangers of Facebook, and public online identities

2. Entertain myself and others

How does it work?

Facebook makes public information available via it’s API. I use jQuery and JSONP to make AJAX requests on your behalf to get the latest data on whatever search term you’re looking for. There is no back-end code. Your query doesn’t go through me, and I don’t give you any data.. it’s all done through Facebook through the miracle of Javascript. When a custom search (using the search box) is submitted, I log the query in a flat file (and only the query. No time stamps, no IPs) so I can look for ‘popular’ searches later on.

What about Privacy?

I’m not exposing anything that isn’t already public, searchable, and index elsewhere… I just put a different User interface on it and made it a little more search-friendly for the previously stated purposes.