How to Use Facebook Graph Search to Clean Up Your Friends List

By Devon Glenn 

Awkward Facebook situations are now easier to avoid with the wide release of Facebook’s new search bar, Graph Search. By using Graph Search to sort your friends by their stance on divisive topics, like religion or politics, you can immediately figure out which friends to unfriend, hide in your feed, or at least move to a separate list so you don’t offend them with the truth.

Here are a few of our favorite searches for organizing your friends list. Warning: some of the things you discover about your friends may make you rethink your friendships.

  • Politics: “My friends who like George W. Bush,” “My friends who like Barack Obama,” “My Republican friends,” “My Democratic friends,” “My Independent friends,” “My friends who watch Fox News,” “My friends who watch The Daily Show”

You can’t really expect to convert your friends to your point of view with an internet meme. Try directing your political-themed posts to people who are members of your party, are independent voters, or live in swing states.

  • Religion: “My friends who are Christian,” “My friends who are Jewish,” “My friends who go to churches”

Not everybody wants to be wished a Merry Christmas or watch the latest video from GodTube, but some people will absolutely love it. Keep these friends in separate lists and no one gets hurt.

  • Entertainment & Sports: “My friends who like New York Yankees,” “My friends who read 50 Shades of Gray 

It may be superficial to judge people solely by what they like, but if you can’t control your rage when confronted with fans of a rival team, just don’t look at them.

  • Children: “My friends of friends who follow my children,” “My friends of friends who are followed by my children,” “People who follow my children,” “People who are followed by my children”

If your kids are on Facebook, this is another way to keep an eye on them and the people they know.

For the last few months, Facebook has been testing out Graph Search as a way for people to instantly find information through the things their friends have already shared publicly on the site. Beginning today, everyone who has their preferred language set to U.S. English will have access to it at the top of their Facebook pages.

Once you’ve got your friends sorted out, click on their individual profiles and, in the settings, choose “add to interest lists,” “report or block,” or “unfriend” to make adjustments.

Image by Alias Ching.

RELATED: How Journalists Can Use Facebook Graph Search as a Social Media Rolodex