Mini Mission 1: Analysis and reflection
Digital Society admin

I really wanted to carry out the first mini mission 1A but it would seem that either Wolfram Alpha are experiencing technical difficulties or are facing new restrictions imposed by Facebook.

So now I’ve chosen mini mission 1B. After getting over the initial fear of seeming self interested I found the results fairly interesting.

The search engine requires you only fill out the following fields: First name, surname and hometown/city. After filling out these and clicking search, there was NOTHING related to me. It would seem I have quite a generic name, and being from London am from an area with a large number of people. So that makes sense.

However, there is an option to fill out more search terms. So I filled out these except for the hobby and sports options as I don’t really do any of these consistently. These included school, University, country and job.

Upon providing these quite specific details, I was amazed to found that I still could not find one result specific to me. Not even one.

Amongst the results generally there were people intentionally promoting themselves. This would seem to make sense; because I have a pretty generic name it would stand to reason that only deliberate self promoters would break through to the first search results page. The majority of the rest were personal linked in and Facebook accounts.

I was surprised that literally nothing came up considering the level of detail I put in like my school and my job. I suppose it goes to show how much of an effect having a slightly different name can have — for example my Facebook has a middle name which isn’t even mine. Perhaps it is this that keeps people from finding me. Alternately perhaps I have super tight security that I can’t remember setting.

At any rate it’s a relief (for some reason) to know that my future employers will have trouble finding my personal accounts without knowing some quite specific details about me — they would really have to ask me if they wanted to know what my middle name on Facebook is. So perhaps this is enough to be effective if you’re worried about what future employers may find!

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