LGBT Guide to Facebook's Graph Search

January 28, 2013

GLAAD, as a member of Facebook's Network of Support, regularly works with the company to offer information and resources to address issues that are important to the LGBT community. A new feature that LGBT Facebook users need to understand is Graph Search.

In January Facebook announced the beta launch of Graph Search, a new search feature intended to make information people have already shared with each other more useful in a way that respects peoples' privacy settings. With Graph Search, you can look up anything shared with you on Facebook, and others can find things you've shared with them, including content set to "public."

What does Graph Search mean for LGBT Facebook users?

While Graph Search doesn't change the privacy settings held by each individual piece of content, its launch is a reminder that Facebook's LGBT users should be informed about how to control their privacy settings. Facebook users' privacy settings can be adjusted so that information is not shared more widely than they want, and it is important that users know how to modify privacy settings for current city, relationship status, timeline photos and other content.

Here are some Graph Search tips and resources from Facebook:

Other questions and links to answers from Facebook's Help Center:

If you haven't reviewed your privacy settings lately, you can visit Facebook's Privacy Settings or Privacy Help Center. You can also check out "The Always Up-to-Date Guide to Managing Your Facebook Privacy" (via Lifehacker) and "The Privacy Guide to Facebook's New Graph Search" (via The Atlantic). GLAAD encourages all LGBT Facebook users to learn about their privacy settings and make informed decisions about what to share.

GLAAD has worked with Facebook over the years on a variety of LGBT inclusion efforts. GLAAD worked with Facebook to remove hateful comments and images posted to a Spirit Day event page in 2010. GLAAD and other groups worked with Facebook to add 'In a Civil Union' and 'In a Domestic Partnership' options to user profiles in 2011. In 2012, Facebook became the first social media company to be receive a GLAAD Media Award. Also in 2012 Facebook added same-sex icons for married couples.