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.