Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Facebook & "My" Stuff

There's been a lot of hullaballoo about the recent update of Facebook's Terms of Service legalese. This was brought to my attention a couple of days ago by a good friend who has since closed out her account on the site.

Her departure from Facebook will definitely be missed as she had posted a lot of interesting mental fodder that was enjoyable, albeit (as she put it) non-productive, time online.

The uproar is appearing in a lot of different places - people ranting over their expectations of privacy and ownership of content being violated.

Now, Facebook has backpedaled and gone back to its' original terms of service. Mark Zuckerburg posted this earlier today. Now, the universe has righted itself after the voice of the people made a big roar - everyone is safe now... Everyone owns and controls their online content yet again.

Not to be cynical, but ... DUH - come on people!!!

I don't know about other folks out there, but my online mantra is:

Anything I put online can NEVER be guaranteed to remain in my control.

Any email, blog post, twitter, forum comment, music clip, photo or movie I, in one way or another, move from my hardware onto the Internet - I consider it to be out of my control.

Seems like common sense to me.

Technology has made the dissemination and consumption of information so much easier than it used to be. Back in the olden days, when I was a kid, plagarizing a book for that school assignment involved actually hand-writing, word-for-word the text from a page. Having a copy of your friends' AC/DC album involved actually recording, in real time, the entire album to tape.

These days, copying, manipulating and/or forwarding on someone elses' intellectual property takes a matter of seconds.

It's the Internet ... if it's out there, I consider it to be out of my control - no matter what the terms of service are.

The Facebook kerfuffle took a more ominous tone in that people were up in arms about a clause from their revised TOS that stated:
The following sections will survive any termination of your use of the Facebook Service: Prohibited Conduct, User Content, Your Privacy Practices, Gift Credits, Ownership; Proprietary Rights, Licenses, Submissions, User Disputes; Complaints, Indemnity, General Disclaimers, Limitation on Liability, Termination and Changes to the Facebook Service, Arbitration, Governing Law; Venue and Jurisdiction and Other.
(There - I actually just copied that in a matter of a second... ha!)

I, personally, was not surprised nor offended by this. I'm not paying for my use of Facebook (and I don't consider the ads on the right-hand side of the Facebook interface - which I have long since ignored - to be an "inconvenient" form of payment), so why would I trust or even expect them to look after my personal interests?

I don't know about other people, but I consider it to be a bit naive to think otherwise.

2 comments:

ingrid said...

Yeah. You're right.

I think why I reacted so strongly to it had mostly to do with the fact that I had given it little thought. It was more like an "aha!" than a "bastards!"

Covering my own embarrassment over my nativity with bravado. :)

I may not quit but instead change my own mentality towards it... e.g. Use it only for posting links and no personal stuff at all.

chckn8r said...

Hee hee! You are such a ham!

I was definitely sad to see you shut off of Facebook, 'cause that was one of the main ways I kept up with your unique look on life!

A bit selfish I admit, but there, I said it!