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Facebook Wants to Own Your Very Soul

Those Dementors via Harry Potter were soul-suckingly evil... like Facebook.

Those Dementors via Harry Potter were soul-suckingly scary… like Facebook.

You already know that I have unequivocally declared Facebook my enemy for a variety of reasons (like this and this and this and this) and it’s been quite apparent to me for quite some time that you are their product as they commercialize you and your work.

And sure, they’ve done it shamelessly but they’ve never been completely honest about it. Well, at least we can scratch off the last part now as they’ve unambiguously shared their intentions in their new updated policy.

Take a look at come to terms with this obvious fact: Facebook owns everything and if they could they’d take your soul too.

Their (Evil) Intentions For All To See:

Let’s take a look at their new policy, shall we? Now, for some context (and this is very important), this is by order of the judge who just walked Facebook through a large class-action lawsuit where Facebook was sued for using images and content of users for their advertising without consent or compensation.

Facebook loses class action lawsuit.

Facebook loses class action lawsuit.

Get this – they would even use and feature users who were under the age of 18 for their own monetary gain. You can read the full court ruling here.

So, a natural consequence of them not wanting to get sued again for such criminal activity is to make a new policy stating that every user will allow with full consent the social network to monetize everything that you are and that you do on their platform.

E.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g.

Naturally, this includes your photos. This is why Pressgram is so necessary in such wicked times! And you know that Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, will eventually share the same policy in time (not if but when is the question).

What does their new policy essentially state? It means that Facebook can use your name, your likeness, and the content posted on your profile for advertising and “Sponsored Stories” without compensation. This also now includes and extends to minors.

This is what they have to say:

You give us permission to use your name, profile picture, content, and information in connection with commercial, sponsored, or related content (such as a brand you like) served or enhanced by us. This means, for example, that you permit a business or other entity to pay us to display your name and/or profile picture with your content or information, without any compensation to you.

If you are under the age of eighteen (18), or under any other applicable age of majority, you represent that at least one of your parents or legal guardians has also agreed to the terms of this section (and the use of your name, profile picture, content, and information) on your behalf.

What. The. Fuck… … … … ?!?

Not only that, it also gives more control by Facebook to use it’s facial-recognition software for photo tagging meaning that it could leverage your face and/or your friends and their faces to provide targeted marketing and advertising for everyone.

What does this mean? It means that Facebook could make it look like you are endorsing a product to your family and friends when you are actually NOT endorsing it at all – in fact, you may not even be aware of the product or service that’s being advertised!

Imagine discovering (via your friends and network) that you’ve been promoting a product or service that you hate or that might conflict with a personal belief or that perhaps is even fairly unsavory. Well, you’ve just given Facebook the right to do just that.

If all this isn’t enough then here’s some more stuff that Facebook has given themselves the right to do:

  • Facebook has the right to know what computer or device you’re using (iPhone, Android, Windows, etc.). This is so they can provide even more commercial opportunities based on your hardware (not just software anymore).
  • Facebook is allowed to track your GPS location so that that they can provide, at some point, a commercialized way of capitalizing on geo-location and your friends locally. Daily deals anyone? Yikes.
  • Facebook has the right to share your public information with others and other financially-motivated organizations. You can make that stuff “private” if you’d like but you’re still subject to the other policies. Besides, if you’re using Facebook “privately” you might as well boot up your own blog or use another less-commercial platform that won’t suck your soul.
  • Facebook is allowed to keep all data related to any application that you use, even if you delete that application, indefinitely and eternally. This also extends to the applications themselves and the organizations that run them. Whatever data you send whether you know it or not is theirs in perpetuity. Oh yay.

It’s clear folks – Facebook has stated plainly that they want to use you and all of that data (including all your media, photos, and more) to generate as much advertising income as they possibly can. They also want to grant rights to all those 3rd parties that they are partnering with as much access to your data as well.

To be completely honest (as I always am) I cannot walk away from their new policies feeling anything but sick, literally. Bile rises into my throat thinking about how shameless Facebook is with their motives.

How could you possibly trust Facebook or feel anything close to safe or secure with your data, your photos, your life? I shut down my usage of Facebook a while ago, perhaps it’s time you did the same (read the comments on their proposal by users just like you. Ridiculous!).

Or, at the very least, put your photos in the only hands that you can completely trust – your own. Hey, and that’s what we’re all about.

36 Comments

  1. My question is does this apply to Brands? So could they take Pressgram’s page content and use it? Or any brand? My guess is they won’t do it to big brands because they have the deep pockets to protect themselves. So they will exploit the little guys. Injustice.

  2. i’ve been toying with the idea of killing my fb account. or at least download everything and keep a profile with a few close people that still prefer to use it. i have been scaling down on what I’ve been posting and i think it’s time for me to pull the plug, doesn’t look like Facebook is going to get sane, ever… my data, my rules, that’s what i’m now gunning for. thanks for raising awareness John. Viva Pressgram.

  3. Can you fill in some blanks for me? I’m a little confused by the link between the TOC’s statement “commercial, sponsored, or related content (such as a brand you like)” and the conclusion “you may not even be aware of the product or service being advertised”?

    Aren’t sponsored stories Facebook advertisers telling whichever demographic they’re targeting “______ likes this page/uses this product”?

    • the point is that facebook can use your content and images in marketing and advertising that they feel is appropriate, without your consent. Now, sometimes that may align with your interests and you might feel fine with that. Or… it could not.

      It’s just a “blank check” for facebook so they can do as they please without legal issues.

    • Gina here is an example… I posted about a book I was reading once and then 3 weeks later Facebook posted an advertisement for Amazon quoting my status update with my name and my photo. All my friends and family got to see it… except me. I wasn’t notified. They withheld it from showing in MY feed, I only found out because my wife showed me her feed.

  4. Thanks for sharing this John.

  5. Thanks for sharing John. I left Facebook just a little over a year ago because their policies are nuts. I knew this was going on before, and it’s one of the many reasons I left. I can’t believe they’re blatantly, and (somewhat) openly telling users they’re doing this.

    I also can’t believe anyone can read those terms and possibly think it’s totally cool to stay on Facebook. If I were to just find out about this now, I’d be off of there in a heartbeat!

  6. I am not sure if I should stay on FB for awareness of Pressgram or just cut it out cold turkey.

    The worst part is losing contact with all of the people that I talk to a lot in their messaging system, but never on the phone or via email.

    Torn, but furious.

  7. So, if we post a link to our blogs, FB can not then go out and suck that content in, right? Just content uploaded or created on FB. Confused as to what they can now do with linked content.

    Seriously thinking about making my personal account private for family only and doing a brand page for my photography business and never upload except for cover which will be highly and directly linked to my business.

    Thanks for clarifying this junk.

    • Scott – you probably know this as well – but you will need a consent from your clients about posting on your business Facebook page. It recently happened to a company I work for (Entertainment / Music) that a client came back and asked with who’s permission the pictures for his wedding where in our Facebook page… It was truly something everyone does for fun, like members of the band saying: “Hey I’m playing at this site on a wedding…”, but truly – we don’t have permission to expose the venue nor the people that hired us for that event… Really awkward…

  8. Michael John Beil

    August 30, 2013 at 5:16 pm

    Yet again, we are left in that predicament of decision. To oust everything of Facebook or to use it for the education of people.

  9. Well, how will I promote my businesses to all the teen society?

  10. I personally left Facebook for around 2 years, but had to come back to it as unfortunately a lot of people just don’t know how to pick up the phone any more. So I was becoming the outsider and missing a lot of events that were being arranged on FB.

    It’s a shame, but I think I may need to reconsider my membership and leave again. I much prefer G+ anyway.

    • i think people believe that they are missing more of “life” without facebook… (not you in particular, just generally)… but i’ve realized and experienced just the opposite…

      • Yeah possibly. I never felt like I was missing on anything in terms of news or anything like that, as anyone who is important to me I speak with over the phone or by email on a regular basis anyway.

        What frustrated me when I wasn’t on FB was that people were arranging get together’s, drinks, parties etc and on occasions (well, one occasion in particular) I wasn’t being invited. So I decided to re-join. I didn’t miss FB then, and I won’t miss it again now.

        People need to realise that they’re being taken for a ride and that FB isn’t the be all and end all. In fact, it’s quite the opposite really.

  11. Love the irony of using a photo with no attribution (which came from where?), to illustrate a post about a service which requires that you sign over your soul (and give them rights to use your photos and likeness), AND removes your metadata (which could include your attribution). It was irony, right?

  12. Well, I solved the profile picture issue for myself. I don’t use pictures of myself. At the moment I am a smiling kitten head atop a suit of armor. I want them to use that! I want that image to be famous!

    Considering all the foul mouthed smart-ass stuff I post, FB may find me to be a bitter tonic.

    I do not use instagram because I don’t need it. I use paper camera, pixlr-o-matic and photoshop. They are my playground.

  13. I left facebook a few weeks ago and I feel so much better! I was diagnosed with anxiety, getting panic attacks and the doctors were trying to put me on antidepressants. But what I noticed is everytime I went to my facebook is when the panic attacks and negative thoughts would start, so I decided to download all my facebook pics, vids, etc. and delete it. I feel a sense of freedom I haven’t felt for quite some time. It’s nice to not have “strangers” knowing so much about me, and that includes the over 100 friends that I barely even talked to. My life is more productive and I can focus more on ME. My husband still has his and I time to time check what’s new on his newsfeed and it’s the same old shit, so negative and boring and people getting shit on for exposing something another person didn’t like. Facebook’s a waste of time and I’m so happy I’m free of it!

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