Another Facebook Horror

Facebook’s horrors get worse and worse. If  a demonstration was needed of the contempt  Facebook has for its users, the pre-Christmas hoo-ha over selling users’ images provided it..

In the week before Christmas Facebook announced that, as from January 16th, there would be compulsory changes to the terms of service of the photo-sharing service Instagram which Facebook bought for $1bn  in April 2012.

The new terms of service read: “You hereby grant to Instagram a non-exclusive, fully paid and royalty-free, transferable, sub-licensable, worldwide license to use the content that you post on or through the service,” adding “a business or other entity may pay us to display your username, likeness, photos, and/or actions you take, in connection with paid or sponsored content or promotions, without any compensation to you.”

Is that clear?

You’d have thought so, but Facebook then claimed that people who had been outraged by these terms had been misled by the “confusing” choice of language used in the new terms.

Eventually, in the face of  strident criticism, Facebook backed down and the change to the T&Cs was dropped.

Like so much on Facebook – for instance the right to sell your details to commercial companies and the right to use your image for face recognition projects – this stinks.

Facebook  is clearly up to no good. Like many American companies it’s got  to the point where nothing will satisfy it except world domination.

In pursuit of that,  like religious evangelists, companies tend to think the means justifies the end and they start doing amoral  stupid things.

No one reads T&Cs. So if you don’t trust the company you’re dealing with, it’s best either to read the T&Cs (if you’ve got the strength and patience) or don’t do business with them.

I have to say it baffles me why so many people do business with Facebook.




  1. Well said, Stooriefit – International Man of Mystery.

  2. That’s fine for you, but if you friends did that how would you find them on FB?
    I suppose you could share fake identities by old fashioned means, but then as the network forms FB still have all the metadata on your contacts, preferences and other stuff that advertisers use to target you and people in your network. Your friends still might get a sidebar advert saying that you, in the form of your fake ID have bought some product or service and you endorse it… Which has the same marketing power surely?
    Your identity is the sum of its actions, experiences and prejudices, the same is true for your “fake” ID as much as it is for your “real” ID.
    – Stooriefit, international man of mystery.

  3. Ah that sounds like a good strategy, DontAgree. I like the idea of FB generating mountains of bollox info and selling it to suckers.

  4. For facebook its users are the product. Prepare yourself to be sold.

  5. I do ‘business’ with FB because I give them nothing worth selling, for starters I use a complete fake profile (benefit my friends don’t find me, I find them). They provide me with a service that nobody else has and critical mass is definitely the name of the game in this case. If you want to talk horrors, I would point to Ticketmaster … they charge one exorbitant fee on top of another ridiculously exorbitant fee, but if I want to go to the show I have no other option but to pay through the nose. At least with FB I am in control how much of me is out there for everybody to see (no tagging is another good rule).

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