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Why I say no to Facebook

It seemed to me that there are very few people in my PLN who don’t use Facebook. Until today when I tweeted about it and had quite a few replies that agreed with me. Jenny Luca was one of them as she is quite one of the most wonderful teacher librarians on the face of the earth, her agreement with me really resonated.

I’ve never been a big fan of handing over ownership of my photos, writings and more to a social media behemoth for not much in return. Okay, I’m being facetious, but the truth remains that the T & C of Facebook means that practically anything you upload can be used and reused by one Mr Mark Zuckerberg:

For content that is covered by intellectual property rights, like photos and videos (“IP content”), you specifically give us the following permission, subject to your privacy and application settings: you grant us a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use any IP content that you post on or in connection with Facebook.

I’m also not a fan of ‘opt out’. I’d much rather opt in to things like photo tagging than have Facebook decide for me that this is something I want to be a part of. Although on Facebook’s T & Cs page, it says:

Your privacy is very important to us

I don’t believe that it is. Introducing facial recognition technology to photos without telling people about it and the implications is evidence that privacy is not important. As Naked Security said about photo tagging on 7 June:

Well, now might be a good time to check your Facebook privacy settings as many Facebook users are reporting that the site has enabled the option in the last few days without giving users any notice.

I also cannot help but be swayed by technologist and all-round brain-box Mark Pesce‘s view of Facebook in Why I Quit Facebook and You Should Too and Facebook and the Death of Privacy. Here is a deep thinking man who embraces social media and technologies, eschewing Facebook. It’s got to influence your thinking, doesn’t it?

Any site that pulls the rug out from under your feet by changing privacy settings without your knowledge has got to be viewed with suspicion.

4 Responses to “Why I say no to Facebook”

  1. Britt Gow says:

    Although I agree with your sentiments, Facebook is where our students are, and I don’t think that is going to change anytime soon. They need to understand the T and C’s and they need role models to demonstrate how social networking can be used appropriately. I don’t post photos there, although I will continue to upload to Flickr and Picassa. I have started pages for some of my senior classes (reminders and links to resources) but I am beginning to consider a move to Google+. I wonder which my students will prefer?

  2. jway says:

    I agree that we need to know where our students are at, but in draw the line at using fb purely for this reason. I will be keeping students and parents up to date re fb and privacy, etc. from next term via my new school cybersafety blog. Heaps of fb info out there from my PLN to share.

  3. Bev says:

    Interesting thoughts and opinions Judith. My interest and use of FB has wavered over the last few months as I’ve dabbled just a little with it to try and find its value to me. The article by Mark Pesce makes very interesting reading. I tend to agree with you when you say in reply to Britt that it’s not necessary to participate in the FB community to effectively highlight concerns held.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us.

  4. jway says:

    Thanks Bev. I also read today that TL extraordinaire Gwyneth Jones is not a fan of fb. It makes me feel so much better that people I admire have similar thoughts about the social media giant.

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