How to see public Facebook status updates (search is hidden)

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Here’s how your Facebook status updates can be seen by the public, and how to restrict them so the public cannot search for them.


You may know that your public status updates can be seen by anyone in the world, but do you know how people find them?  I’ll show you both sides here:

How to post Facebook statuses to the public

When you post a status update, just to the left of the “Post” button, there is a drop down menu that allows you to post to the whole world or just to a “custom” group, like your friends, or even a more restricted group, like your friends except for work friends.  In my shameless self promotion, here I am on Fox news talking about this at 1:23.  Note that at the time (Feb 2011), the “Post” button was the “Share” button.

How to see public Facebook status posts

Let’s say you wanted to see what

people are saying about Comcast.  If you put Comcast in the search box at the top of your Facebook page, it will show you

  • The Comcast business page
  • A bunch of “Comcast sucks” and “I hate Comcast” pages

However, at the bottom, click where it says “see more results for comcast”.

Now, on the left, click “Public Posts” and you can see posts from anyone that set up their status updates so that they can be seen by the public.

Implications – why you care

Here’s how this information can be helpful to you:

  • Careful what you say – your bosses, ex-girlfriends, enemies, and competition can see it
  • My conclusion is shown at 2:59 in the video above – don’t post anything on the Internet that you wouldn’t want to be seen on the nightly news
  • If you are getting cable, you’ll see why you don’t want to get Comcast.  The public is constantly talking about their bad experiences with them, and I’m one of them.  This works for any product you are considering.
  • If you have a brand, you may want to monitor what people are saying about you.

Be careful out there.

Patrick O’Malley, aka (617)-PATRICK, is a professional speaker on social media and Google ranking.

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1 Jonathan { 10.24.11 at 10:55 pm }

Wow this is very insightful. Thanks to this post, Patrick! Very informative. Are there any other things in facebook that risk being seen by public?

2 Patrick O’Malley { 10.25.11 at 1:15 pm }

There are a host of “Privacy settings”, and Facebook typically makes everything you do very public, so check them carefully.

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