According to Facebook, users upload more than 300 million photos, generate over 3.2 billion ‘likes’/'comments’, and have 526 million active users on average per day. But do we stop to think about where our information is being shared and what happens after an image or a post has been uploaded? To show users just how easy it is to access user’s status updates and share it to the world, 18 year old Callum Haywood set up a website called ‘We Know What You’re Doing‘, pulling public status updates via Facebook’s Graph API that contain references to hating your boss, getting drunk, using drugs and changes to your personal phone numbers. The site created a massive media stir with questions being asked once again about online safety on social networks. We caught up with Callum to find out more about the man behind the website, and to ask what inspired him to set up the site as well as what users can do to ensure online safety.
Hey Callum, firstly, congratulations on your experiment, it’s gotten you worldwide recognition; did you ever envision that this project would get you this much media attention? Thank you, I had never envisioned that the site would get anywhere close to the number of visitors it has had in its entire online life. I had certainly not expected the media to pick up on it.
Could you tell us a little bit about your career background and how and when you got into coding and web development? I’ve recently finished my A level studies, and will be starting university later this year. I started coding when I was about 13 years old, just learning basic HTML out of an old book. I then got into web design using CSS, and this lead me onto PHP which is what the site is written in.
What inspired you to set up “We know what you’re doing?” Two things inspired me. First was Tom Scott’s video “I Know What You Did Five Minutes Ago” in which he demonstrates, using live data, the amount of personal information that people put online. Secondly is the simplicity in which this information can be obtained; within a few lines of code you can query Facebook’s Graph API for public posts and output them.