Monday, November 26

In response to the new Facebook guidelines...

I am going to post some legal mumbo-jumbo and pretend to have legal protection from Facebook.

Not really. As many people are pointing out, copy/pasting a long paragraph that invokes the Berner Convention, Rome Statute and UCC 1 1-308-308 1-103 does absolutely nothing to give yourself any type of control over the content you upload to Facebook.

The actual terms of the new Facebook policy state that you do "own" all content you upload to Facebook, but your privacy settings determine who can view such content. When you sign up for Facebook, you lose certain amounts of control over your personal data. Facebook reserves the right to share and sell your information to advertisers, so they can cater ads to your interests (which still doesn't explain all the gluten free ads). Facebook is also not responsible for your lack of understanding when it comes to their privacy settings. If you don't want something online, maybe don't have a public profile (or don't even upload it)?

I don't understand why people think they have control over what they put on Facebook. I know that no one ever reads the terms of service before signing up for something, but they clearly tell you what Facebook can and cannot do.

Why is it surprising that you don't have full control over the content that you upload to Facebook's servers for free? If you don't want to lose this control, don't use this free service. No one has a gun to your head. No one forces you to tag yourself at the bar or next to your "medicinal" gardens.

You can, however  protect yourself from some of the security issues that arise with use of a social media service. Here are a few. (Thanks to Alexandra Roy for writing them)

1. Click the down arrow in the upper right corner of Facebook
2. Click Privacy settings 
3. Change your settings to "friends only" 

Also, remember that every photo you upload (even if your settings are private) automatically becomes public, so you must change each individual photo's settings as you upload them. Giving yourself a nickname on Facebook does not hide your profile. 

If you don't want to be found: Privacy settings -> How you connect -> Who can look up your timeline by name (change to friends only)

The most important rule should be most obvious. Never post anything that you would not want your boss, family, future employers, school or anyone else in public to see. In the end, you are in control of what you post. Having the sense to know what is acceptable in a world where a Google search sifts through prospective employees in nano-seconds is crucial.

By Aaron Brandt, who apparently falls in the demographic for gluten-free turkey.