January 28, 2013

FaceWash Scrubs Away Those Painful Collegiate Memories

If there’s one thing I know about the real world, it’s that it is incredibly difficult to make the transition from bong rips to a 9 to 5 work-a-day job once you graduate college.

It is ever so difficult.

The existence of Facebook isn’t making this transition any easier, keeping a live and active archive of your indiscretions online for nearly anyone to discover and rummage through.

“But I’ve got my profile set to private!” You might be saying right now.

Well then, genius, what happens when Zuckerberg gets a wild hare up his arse and decides to switch up the privacy controls and begins flipping switches you’ve already set to protect your identity?

Suddenly your religious grandparents and potential employers are able to view all those pictures of you worshipping the porcelain god that one night before you went to a Colbie Caillat show as a goof but left with a new respect for acoustic guitars and peppy love songs. You said you hated it, though, you know, to keep up appearances. I digress…

Enter FaceWash, a new app built with those newly graduated college students looking for their first jobs in mind. To be fair, anyone with an embarrassing Facebook past can use FaceWash to clean up a dirty profile.

The app was created by three computer science engineers at Kent State University in Ohio who last week took their idea to the University of Pennsylvania’s PennApps hackathon, where it won a $500 cash prize in the Best Hack for Students category, sponsored by software company 10gen.

“We realized that there’s a lot of content that perhaps someone might not want a future employer to see,” said one of the collegiate developers by the name of Daniel Gur in an interview with the Times of India.

Using the app is straightforward process:

Using FaceWash is as easy as signing into Facebook. Simply visit and click the “Get Started” button. From there, the site will whisk you away to Facebook where you’re asked to plug in your credentials. After going through the common app approval process, FaceWash begins scouring your Facebook profile, looking for possible naughty comments, links, likes and photo tags. For instance, posts with words like Ass, Damn, Suck and the nickname for Richard will appear, the questionable words highlighted in yellow.

(A heads up to any Glassjaw fans: The word “hardcore” also triggers FaceWash’s naughty word sensors.)

You can click on the offending status update or photo tag and remove them from your Timeline. In case you know exactly what you want removed, (and you know what I’m talking about) you can search for it directly, find it and just like that, it’s erased from your digital life.

College is the time to try new things, to make mistakes, to see how long the human body can survive on a steady diet of string cheese, ramen noodles and beer.

There’s also another life to be had once college is over, however, and FaceWash is helping to give these college students a fresh new start on their digital lives.

I say good on them for it.

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