Facebook: All About You

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You may have heard that Facebook records every little thing you’ve done since you started using it.  You probably don’t remember exactly what that might be, either.  For a close approximation of everything—meaning it doesn’t inlcude things you’ve deleted, or clicks recorded—you can at least download an archive of information still available on Facebook and see what exactly what’s available for others to view.

  1. Click on the triangle pointing down next to the Home link on the upper-right side of the page and then click on Account Settings:
  2. The Account Settings page will feature a link at the bottom that allows you to download a copy of your “Facebook data”:
  3. You’ll be taken to a page that will allow you to download your data.  If you haven’t visited this page before, it will tell you to click a button to create the archive.  You can safely leave this page and come back to it later, and Facebook will also send you an email with a link to the page once the archive is created.  Once the archive is available, you’ll be presented with the following screen.  Enter your password and press Continue:
  4. Once you’ve entered your password, you’ll be presented with a Download button that you can click to begin the download:
  5. The downloaded file is zipped, so unzip it with your favorite utility:
  6. It will unzip the files into a directory.  You can view the files using a web browser by clicking on the index.html file:
  7.  The default view is your profile page, and there are clickable links on the side that will allow you to view a variety of things including: all visible posts on your Wall; all visible photos, videos; a list of your friends; every note you’ve ever written; any upcoming events on your calendar; and every message thread since you started using Facebook.  Let’s see what the first thing I wrote on Facebook was by clicking on the Wall link:
  8. Ah, yes, I started using Facebook back when you wrote every status message in the third-person because you were required to use the word “is”:

    Heidi and Rich, my Facebook buds during earlier, more innocent times. Writing about the status of the cat box is far less novel these days.

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