All of a sudden, for some unknown reason (maybe THIS story!) there is an avalanche of Facebook users posting this language, or the equivalent:
PRIVACY NOTICE: Warning – any person and/or institution and/or Agent and/or Agency of any governmental structure including but not limited to the United States Federal Government also using or monitoring/using this website or any of its associated websites, you do NOT have my permission to utilize any of my profile information nor any of the content contained herein including, but not limited to my photos, and/or the comments made about my photos or any other “picture” art posted on my profile. You are hereby notified that you are strictly prohibited from disclosing, copying, distributing, disseminating, or taking any other action against me with regard to this profile and the contents herein. The foregoing prohibitions also apply to your employee, agent, student or any personnel under your direction or control.
The contents of this profile are private and legally privileged and confidential information, and the violation of my personal privacy is punishable by law.
UCC 1-103 1-308 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED WITHOUT PREJUDICE.
But oh so wrong in every way.
After I saw the third version of this turn up and was left scratching my head wondering who was circulating ridiculous legal advice to all my Facebook friends, I discovered that just yesterday, the Snopes site eviscerated this language and the logic behind it. You can and should read their thorough treatment here, but I’ll summarize:
1. Facebook doesn’t “own” what you place on your site. Nothing they have ever said or published suggests this.
2. Facebook users essentially waive most of their copyrights when they agree to Facebook’s user terms. They state that while you still own what you post, Facebook can USE what you post to its little cyber-heart’s content, and also all of its users can do likewise.
3. You can’t make a deal with valid terms—I get to use Facebook, Facebook gets to use what I post there—and then change the agreement, unilaterally, just by saying so. Really now: who does this? What would you do if the bank suddenly contacted you and said, “You know that interest we said you’d get? We changed our minds—you don’t get a penny. See? We published a legal looking disclaimer, so that’s that!”
4. Whether Facebook is publicly traded is 100% irrelevant to anything.
5. Facebook CAN change the conditions of the deal…because that option was part of the agreement you approved in the beginning.
“If you do not agree with Facebook’s stated policies, you have several options:
- Decline to sign up for a Facebook account.
- Bilaterally negotiate a modified policy with Facebook. [ Good luck with THAT!!!]
- Lobby for Facebook to amend its policies through its Facebook Site Governance section.
- Cancel your Facebook account.”
There are two ethics principles related to this issue. The first is to make sure you are right and informed before you spread official-looking nonsense about the law. People believe these erroneous posts and rely on them, to their sorrow. This is like telling friends to use ginger ale as sunblock, that they aren’t lying if they cross your fingers behind your back, or that life is fair and good triumphs in the end.
The second principle is this: Don’t take a personal photo or video from someone’s Facebook page and use it without permission! I don’t care that it’s legal—don’t do that! Where is your Golden Rule alarm? If you look at a photo, video or a post and think, wow, that would embarrass me if it was circulated widely—why would you circulate it?
Artwork, original graphics…I’m sorry: if a Facebook user posts these, they are legally and ethically in the fair use category, and there is a legitimate presumption that they are being shared with the world intentionally. Give credit for them, by all means, but they are there to use. But the ethical presumption with family photos, photos of children and anything that might embarrass someone should be that the Facebook user made a mistake. Don’t repost photos or videos that will get people fired, or send them into seclusion, or haunt them until the day they die. Use your head, as well as your heart.
Building an ethical culture on Facebook will provide some protection for your Facebook content. Pseudo legal nonsense?
None at all.
Pointer: Tel Monks
14 thoughts on “Facebook Ethics: Making Your Facebook Friends As Ignorant As You Are”
No kidding. Before I got to this site, I was just on Snopes trying to figure out what prompted the current blizzard of I Don’t Give Facebook Permission to…. status updates. It’s not so bad when it’s a new Facebook user, but I get irked when they’re people who’ve been members for years and still fall for this stuff.
FB is no different than any other internet site. There is no accountability and no assurance that any of it is true… Free Political Facts, Legal and Financial advice are for children and the uninvolved.
I pay a significant fee every week to belong to a financial advice blog.. Guess what? It’s worth it! I cannot, however, afford free financial advice… or legal advice……
“I pay a significant fee every week to belong to a financial advice blog.. ”
The irony in this one is overwhelming but I digress.. For someone who visits a holy pay for entry financial/legal site you sure didnt add anything to the conversation besides bragging about your own habits.
Let’s try small steps.. Free legal advice, like free financial advice, should be met with a great deal of skepticism.. Whether it’s from FB friends, real friends or some random nonsense found on the internet or in your spam box, anything free is usually worth what you pay for it, and could be devastating…. Think ads for Gold on Fox news!
Now advice from people you trust and respect, and who only want the best from you, is worth a great deal more. Those contacts are few and far in between.
So without those close personal contacts, the intelligent choice is to pay for competent help.
I closed my FB site recently. However, it was not because of the legality of my stuff, but instead because I couldn’t believe that I had family/friends that believed this crap and continued to share it without researching the truth first.
I find it is better for my peace of mind to keep my family/friends and be ignorant of their level of stupidity. Otherwise my only other option was to walk away from them all.
HAHA! Im trying very hard to think your comment is a joke, because if you actually deleted your FB because your ONLY other option was to “walk away” from your family and friends, you must have deeply rooted issues far worse than their perceived “stupidity.”
I mean cmon a simple status update kindly informing them of their error wouldve been a lot smarter than deleting your FB then seeking refuge on an ethics site (HA) to call them stupid
I’m truly at a loss as to how to respond here. You question my mentality or claim “deeply rooted issues” when you don’t know or seem to understand how many times I have kindly left a message about researching the truth. The post went far beyond the simple ridiculous “FB privacy warning.” It was all of the repost that needed research.
I closed my FB for this reason, this is not a joke. There is nothing wrong with seeing an issue that you will never, not like you haven’t tried, see corrected and choosing to step away.
These people are my close family and friends. Hiding them and their post were not an option for me. I would much rather get updates about their lives as I speak to them by other means.
Also, did I in any way come here and insult you? Name calling was not necessary or appreciated. It makes me believe by your reaction that you may be guilty of this very thing and took offense.
I’m not sure what motivates people to do things like this. A while back, there was a spate of virus-related hoaxes circulating, most of which were reported by Norton. There was even one regarding catching AIDS from pay telephones because some infected person spit on the keys.
I’m so uncool.
Don’t do Facebook, never heard of Blue Bloods.
Uncool, maybe. Smart…unquestionably.
Thank you,,,,,,Now how do I embass my well meaning friends,,, Just ignore it and tell them in person. Worse than the various hoax’s is the well meaning friends that send me their inspriation thought of the day. or changing their cover pictures 3x aweek…..Sending me a daily religous quotes they subscribe to from a religon that I don’t belong to. It reminds me when email began and all I received was jokes from the same people recirculating them (family, workplace friends,etc.) No one looked at who the joke was sent to. And, to top it off as on facebook, etc they didn’t send 3 or 4 a day but 20 whenever they went on. Thank you for letting me vent. As you said just don’t use a particular forum or ignore them. I can’t find most of the posts that are important, beause of the nonsense friends send me.
How many have asked you to send “one word” to describe where they met you?