Individuals are increasingly locking down their Facebook profiles by implementing some basic privacy features, but there is a little trick to find “hidden” photos of a particular user.
Investigating through social media, and Facebook in particular given its wide use (a couple of billion people and climbing), has become an increasingly important tool for any professional (or amateur) sleuth.
Over the past few years, with the heightened awareness about privacy and some “brutal reminders” that you can get in big trouble for what you post on Facebook, users have become more careful about what they share with the world.
These days, more often than not, if you stumble on a Facebook page of a user (even that is becoming more difficult), you will find there is absolutely nothing available to see. An empty timeline and friends, photos and likes are all hidden to the public.
But have no fear. All is not lost.
When you come across a profile page with little information, there are two possibilities: 1) the person does not use Facebook all that often (which is entirely possible), or 2) the owner of the profile turned on some privacy features that limit information to certain groups of people like friends.
So what do you do?
There are a lot of fancy tricks and dirty little secrets that you can use to mine Facebook, such as finding photos commented on by the person and places the person has checked in (there is a whole list of tricks), but one of the most useful is finding photos that the person has been tagged in.
There is a handy Google Chrome Extension called PictureMate. Once it’s installed, you can click on the PictureMate extension and it will find hidden photos that were uploaded and tagged by other people, even if the user has set his privacy settings to not show any photos.
Case in point, here is random profile. As you can see, there are only a few photos that he has publicly posted on his profile.
But once you install and click on the PictureMate extension, you get a whole slew of photos that other people have uploaded and tagged the user in.
There you have it. A handy little trick to find hidden Facebook photos.