Facebook is making it easier to delete your old embarrassing posts en masse. With its new Manage Activity tool you will soon be able to quickly find and delete posts from your profile instead of arduously scrolling to find the ones you want gone.
Search is the big feature here — Today, deleting old posts requires manually scrolling through your posts by year — a process that's really slow and can cause you to miss things. Maybe you're so frustrated by the task that you just delete your account altogether, and Facebook doesn't want that. The company says through Manage Activity you will be able to search for specific posts with filters like the names of your ex girlfriend or a range of dates, like the years you were in college.
Once you've filtered down all your posts to just the ones with that summer fling, you can select the "all" toggle and delete them with one go. Deleted posts will sit in the trash for 30 days so you can restore them if you change your mind. There's also an archive option if you'd like to keep posts to reminisce on later but don't want them to appear in your feed. Instagram already has a similar feature that allows you to hide posts but not delete them.
Be your true self — Facebook is 16 years old now, meaning people who joined in high school or college may have a lot of gunk built up there that they feel no longer reflects the person they are today. That's long been a complaint with Facebook — its permanent-by-default nature means all your embarrassing moments from the past are still there unless you go back and manually delete them.
Even CEO Mark Zuckerberg is aware of the downsides of permanency, as he came under fire years ago when it was discovered he was using his executive power to secretly erase messages he had sent to other people during his college years so as to prevent anything embarrassing from reaching the public eye. Facebook responded by rolling out an "unsend message" feature more than a year after the revelation.
Covering up your past isn't inherently a bad thing. Sure, maybe some people will be able to hide truly bad deeds. But we all did dumb things as kids that we don't deserve to have haunt us for the rest of our lives. The way that Facebook keeps a permanent record of everything is more unnatural, in fact. Real life is impermanent and we get a chance to move on in a way that the internet doesn't always let us. Maybe this will help somewhat.