Facebook has always been a validation machine; it’s built to make you hand out “likes” and get “likes” in return, and soon you might even get financial validation to go with it. And if you’ve had your FB account for a while, perhaps you’ve liked things in the past you’d rather not own up to. It’s no account hack, but unfortunately, Facebook makes finding these relatively easy, if you know how to look.
How? Just type in “photos liked by” and anybody you happen to be friends with, and up will pop every photo they’ve ever liked. We tried this with a few Uproxx editors and different people, and found that, in general, it works. In fact, if you start typing in a friend’s name, Facebook will even helpfully autocomplete it for you, to make FB stalking that much easier.
It’s not entirely bulletproof, thanks to the vagaries of algorithms. If you have a common name, or your name includes a common word, we found that it can be tripped up by searching as if it were a term instead a name. So if you’re John Smith or Bob Hammer, your actual likes may be lost in a field of noise. Similarly, you can only see photos keyed to the privacy settings of both participants; if a person is “friends-only,” you’ll only see personal photos if it’s of them or if that photo includes a mutual friend on Facebook.
The bad news is that there’s no way to “mass-unlike” your photo feed. If there’s something embarrassing hiding in your digital past, the only way to get rid of it is to find it and remove it manually. So if there’s a lot you’ve got in your past, you’d better start undoing Likes now.