Facebook have updated their Data Use Policy and inevitably, once again, there are several new “Facebook you can’t distribute my information” posts and emails doing the rounds. It’s been said before, and I’m sure in a few months’ time it’ll have to be said again:
Facebook is a commercial concern, not a public service. If you play in Facebook’s backyard, Facebook gets to set the rules, not you, and In order to play in their backyard you have to agree to their rules of the game.
If you don’t like the rules, go play elsewhere. It’s that simple.
Don’t share or Re-Post messages like this
The changes to the Facebook Data Use Policy and Statement of Rights and Responsibilities are the result of a settlement in a court case concerning Facebook’s use of personal data in advertising. Essentially Facebook didn’t have a clear enough definition of how they used people’s information and this latest data use policy update closes that loop hole.
A Common Misunderstanding About Facebook
There’s a common misunderstanding that Facebook claims ownership of all your posts and pictures. Not so. Facebook already acknowledges that your content is yours. Facebook quite rightly claims the right to use users’ information. They have to, to be able share your posts and pictures with your Facebook friends. And they retain that right for as long as you have a Facebook account – if you don’t let them do that then your friends wouldn’t be able to see what you post!
How widely your posts and pictures are spread is up to you, the Facebook user. If someone makes a public post then they are giving Facebook permission to share it with anyone. That sounds reasonable, if you don’t think so, don’t make public posts.
Don’t want your information in Facebook ads? Change your Privacy settings
To help Facebook make money to pay for all the computing power, development and support staff (not to mention a nice profit), Facebook may also use your information in advertising. If you don’t want Facebook to do so, change your privacy options here
To re-iterate. By using the Facebook service you are implicitly agreeing to the terms and conditions they set. You can’t selectively ignore parts of the agreement just by saying you don’t like it. That’s it, period. However, you can use the tools they give you to control what they share.
So don’t waste your time by posting ‘Facebook you can’t do this’ posts, and don’t waste other people’s time by forwarding any messages you might get. Why not share this post instead? 🙂 If you don’t like Facebook’s Terms and conditions you can vote with you feet and close your Facebook account.
By the way
Anyone who knows me might ask why it is that I put copyright statements on the photographs I post to Facebook. It’s simple, I don’t want other Facebook users and businesses stealing my pictures. It has nothing to do with Facebook.
And you think it doesn’t happen?
A small portion of the above post appeared previously in December 2012.