Social media

'FaceWash' app finds all the filth on your Facebook Timeline

Jan. 22, 2013 at 11:19 AM ET

FaceWash /

Many of us live in a perpetual state of Facebook-induced fear. What if a tagged photo comes back to haunt us? What if someone says something terrible in a comment? What if that new Graph Search feature unearths details we tried to forget? It all boils down to one key idea: We want to make sure that there's nothing "bad" on our Timelines.

Well, there's a little Facebook app that searches through your Facebook Timeline, returning a list of posts with the naughty bits highlighted. These include posts on your profile by either you or your Facebook friends, comments on your own photos or photos you're tagged in, as well as Pages and photos you've liked. You can click through to the actual posts, pages, or photos from there and remove 'em, unlike 'em, untag your name or whatever.

The app that'll help you is called FaceWash — even though it doesn't appear to automate any clean-up — and it just takes a few clicks to use it. Head to the FaceWash website, hit the big "Get Started" button, and grant the app permission to access your Facebook account. Another click and you'll be running a search of posts on your Timeline, comments on photos you're tagged in, and more.

FaceWash /

While the list of terms FaceWash flags doesn't appear to be available, I've noticed that it seems to focus on foul language and words which could be considered sexual in nature. The app seems incapable of ascertaining context, so this means that it can't tell whether someone is writing about domination in the bedroom a la "50 Shades of Grey" or simple discussing taking over the world in silly ways. There are other innocent items which are flagged — such as "xx"— but for the post part, FaceWash seems to stick to terms which probably shouldn't be found on the ideal, absolutely politically correct, employer-friendly Facebook Timeline.

If you feel that the app missed something, there's also a search bar which you can use to check for whatever words you think might offend someone's sensibilities. Once you've found everything that bothers you, you can click through to the original posts (or comments) and make them disappear as necessary.

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