I. Hate. Facebook.

8 04 2008

UPDATE 11/11: Facebook updated the terms sometime back with this:

By posting User Content to any part of the Site, you automatically grant, and you represent and warrant that you have the right to grant, to the Company an irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive, transferable, fully paid, worldwide license (with the right to sublicense) to use, copy, publicly perform, publicly display, reformat, translate, excerpt (in whole or in part) and distribute such User Content for any purpose, commercial, advertising, or otherwise, on or in connection with the Site or the promotion thereof, to prepare derivative works of, or incorporate into other works, such User Content, and to grant and authorize sublicenses of the foregoing. You may remove your User Content from the Site at any time. If you choose to remove your User Content, the license granted above will automatically expire, however you acknowledge that the Company may retain archived copies of your User Content.

It would be interesting to see if they indeed used a derivative work of your photograph for commercial purposes… would you be able to sue them immediately after deleting the original from facebook? The Terms say that the license expires once you take the content down…
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UPDATE 04/23: You can tell Facebook not to use your name/image in an ad under a well-hidden privacy page. Go to Privacy -> “News Feed and Mini Feed” (why the hell is it in News Feed??), and click the “Social Ads” tab. Then click the drop-down box and select “no one”.
______________________

I was going through Facebook today, when something peculiar caught my eye on the left side of my screen. It was an ad. But it wasn’t one that made me laugh.

Advertisements are really stupid, IMHO. I GO OUT OF MY WAY to ensure I don’t click them. If one piques my interest, I find its URL, and I manually enter it. I. Hate. Ads.

What scares me, though, is the thought of “Targeted Advertisements”. It’s called that when a marketer gathers info about you to show a customized ad that, theoretically, would entice you to click. For instance, say I reveal that I’m a computer science major. They could force-feed me an ad about coding internships. In the movie “Minority Report”, you see a good representation of what it could potentially lead to.

So, back to what I saw on Facebook. A screenshot:

Bitch ass mother fuckers trying to use my friend\'s info to force feed me an advertisement

Apparently, they are permitting corporations to utilize your copyrighted photograph in an advertisement for a webpage or application that is probably making money through ads on its own “home page”. Do you know that they’re using YOUR PICTURE and YOUR NAME to promote THEIR SERVICE? I’m posting this for every single Facebook user out there. Because when they decide that they can take my information and post it wherever they feel like it simply because I clicked “Become a Fan”, I will sue them. I kid you not.

I will SUE them.

Unless somewhere deep in the guts of the privacy pages they say I allow them to do this maniacal thing, there is now way that is legal.

I will leave Facebook in a heartbeat if I ever see my face in an ad.

I went back and looked up the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and the Terms of Use for the Developers

In short, app developers must “adequately disclose” what they’re doing with your information (if anything other than what is permitted in the Terms, I suppose). I decided to add the application to see if they included a separate ToS. They don’t. If you click on their “About” link, NOTHING happens (not even a 404.. the app is coded in Flash.. ugh). Also, they have to agree that they won’t infringe your copyright; that clause SPECIFICALLY INCLUDES advertising.
I am so mad right now.

See the Guidelines for Platform Applications: I.3 (I don’t know the formal way to do sections/paragraphs)

In the Terms of Use Policy: 9.iii

And in the Developers Terms of Agreement: 5.A, fourth bullet point.


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6 responses

10 04 2008
Albany Lawyer

I had a vaguely similar experience, with Facebook displaying gay ads on my profile page. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. :-)

Gay ads on Facebook.

10 04 2008
Hexadecimal

Maybe they are being displayed because you are leaving out the “Interested In” field?
You’re article is silly, though. Are you fat because Facebook serves you an ad for losing weight?
Also, both your comment and blog post suggest you’ve been watching too much Seinfeld… :P

2 06 2008
Canada Sues Facebook « Gay Hacker

[...] 2 06 2008 Canada is suing Facebook over privacy concerns. Remember that article I wrote about your info being used for advertising purposes? Well, that’s one of their main [...]

4 10 2008
nikki

if you look under terms at th bottom of th facebook page you will find this……..

User Content Posted on the Site

You are solely responsible for the photos, profiles (including your name, image, and likeness), messages, notes, text, information, music, video, advertisements, listings, and other content that you upload, publish or display (hereinafter, “post”) on or through the Service or the Site, or transmit to or share with other users (collectively the “User Content”). You may not post, transmit, or share User Content on the Site or Service that you did not create or that you do not have permission to post. You understand and agree that the Company may, but is not obligated to, review the Site and may delete or remove (without notice) any Site Content or User Content in its sole discretion, for any reason or no reason, including User Content that in the sole judgment of the Company violates this Agreement or the Facebook Code of Conduct, or which might be offensive, illegal, or that might violate the rights, harm, or threaten the safety of users or others. You are solely responsible at your sole cost and expense for creating backup copies and replacing any User Content you post or store on the Site or provide to the Company.

When you post User Content to the Site, you authorize and direct us to make such copies thereof as we deem necessary in order to facilitate the posting and storage of the User Content on the Site. By posting User Content to any part of the Site, you automatically grant, and you represent and warrant that you have the right to grant, to the Company an irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive, transferable, fully paid, worldwide license (with the right to sublicense) to use, copy, publicly perform, publicly display, reformat, translate, excerpt (in whole or in part) and distribute such User Content for any purpose, commercial, advertising, or otherwise, on or in connection with the Site or the promotion thereof, to prepare derivative works of, or incorporate into other works, such User Content, and to grant and authorize sublicenses of the foregoing. You may remove your User Content from the Site at any time. If you choose to remove your User Content, the license granted above will automatically expire, however you acknowledge that the Company may retain archived copies of your User Content. Facebook does not assert any ownership over your User Content; rather, as between us and you, subject to the rights granted to us in these Terms, you retain full ownership of all of your User Content and any intellectual property rights or other proprietary rights associated with your User Content.

11 11 2008
Hexadecimal

@nikki: Thank you for alerting me of that, I am pretty sure that clause was not there when I originally wrote the article. I’ll update the post.

17 02 2009
Oh How Facebook Angers Me. « The Gay Hacker

[...] How Facebook Angers Me. 17 02 2009 So this is the second time Facebook’s ToS have made me mad. I was going to go off on a huge rant, but luckily someone has done this for me (in a more [...]

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