So, I started to see a few of my friends on Facebook post a similar statement. The idea, I guess, was to “strictly forbid” for Facebook (or any entities associated with Facebook) to use any information or photos posted on their wall. My initial thought was that it seems silly doing this since whatever you post demonstrates that you are fine with the information or photo to be share–since you’re the one doing it. But I figured, I like to be the one in control of what is shared about me and when it is shared and to whom it is shared. That’s when I posted this:

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Of course, I received a few responses to this post from friends basically letting me know that this was going to be ineffective. In my defense, I was skeptical about this to begin with but I figured that it does no harm to put it out there for Facebook to know where I stood. This whole privacy thing was also covered by a few news organizations, too.

A couple of the replies I got directed me to Snopes.com and so I let curiosity take me to the site and I looked up the article Facebook Privacy Notice. The piece says “Facebook users cannot retroactively negate any of the privacy or copyright terms they agreed to when they signed up for their accounts, nor can they unilaterally alter or contradict any new privacy or copyright terms instituted by Facebook, simply by posting a contrary legal notice on their Facebook walls”. That totally make sense–you can’t agree to something, sign on the dotted line, shake hands on it, then change the rules; the world just doesn’t work like that. Later in the article, the author mentions a few action you can take if you don’t like Facebook’s privacy policy:

  • don’t sign up for Facebook (Believe it or not, many people have take this approach.)
  • bilaterally negotiate a modified policy with Facebook (Good luck getting that done.)
  • lobby for Facebook to amend its policies (Again, don’t bet on it.)
  • cancel your Facebook account (I’ve know people who’ve done this. It’s a simple solution.)

I think the takeaway from all of this is that if you are concerned about any information or photos that pertain to you being used by Facebook or any other entity on the web then you should think twice (or thrice) before posting it. Even if Facebook took our ‘dis-allowance’ seriously, that doesn’t mean that others would act the same way. People have wrongful taken information and pictures to use for bad-natured, spiteful, and even malicious reasons (ever heard of bullying or catfishing?) Either be careful of what you put out there, if you chose to put things out there, or be ready for the possibility that some of the things that you put out there can be taken and use for intentions that you never designed for them to. It’s an unfortunate side-effect of the Internet.

-RCS3

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