Wednesday, February 18, 2009


My relationship with Facebook has always been fraught to say the least.

I find the site annoyingly clunky, slow loading and just too bloated with useless “apps” and fly-by-night user groups who constantly paw at me wanting my cyber attention when in truth I’m rarely in the mood to give it.

The facility I use most on Facebook is the “ignore” button and I do apologize if you have been on the wrong end of it. It’s nothing personal.

Why be on Facebook in the first place then?

Well. I was curious. It was recommended to me by a friend (a real one). And I thought “why not?”

And once you’re on there it’s damned hard to get yourself off.

Facebook, you see, doesn’t like to let go.

Facebook has ownership issues.

Facebook is something of a smug, grasping, bully that doesn’t like to let anyone of anything out of its mucky clutches.

Want evidence?

Facebook has now decided to grant itself rights to users’ photos, wall posts and just about every conceivable bit of information that people are na├»ve enough to post on its site. Forever.

Even if you manage to delete your account all your photos and information will be archived somewhere and available for use by the Facebook bigwigs for what has been quoted in the Metro as “public performances”

Public performances?


Has Facebook not heard of the data protection act or are they somehow exempt?

Here’s another quote for the Metro (only the best sources for me):

“Yesterday, the site’s founder Mark Zuckerberg attempted to defuse the row, insisting in his blog, ‘In reality, we wouldn’t share your information in a way you wouldn’t want.’”


In a way I wouldn’t want.

So that’ll be not at all then.

So what’s the point of Facebook hanging onto such information and private (can you read that, Zuckerberg: P – R – I – V – A – T – E ) photos in the first place?

Or is Facebook hoping that at some point in the future I will be quite content to let my personal information be used in some viral advertising campaign or pasted over a Beatles soundtrack to sell an updated version of their shitty little web site to invading Martians? Or even enable Wal-Mart to target me with useless white goods that they think I desperately need and must absolutely buy?

Dream on, Facebook.

Keeping my information without my express permission is theft. Holding my photos – my intellectual property – for a future use that I cannot control or opt out from, no mater how innocuous, is an infringement of my basic human rights.

Facebook, it’s time you were de-faced.



Brother Tobias said...

I hadn't heard about this row. The gall! I went on for the same reason. And let it wither on the vine (all that virtual prodding and stuff). I suspect, even if there was some discreet small print, that they are wide open to challenge on the intellectual ownership issue.

Steve said...

I would certainly hope so. Ironically some of Facebooks own members are staging various protests... by forming Facebook groups dedicated to the cause of preserving their rights to privacy and intellectual copyright. I don't know whether to laugh or cry. I won't be joining them though!

Old Cheeser said...

I read about this in the paper this morning. Can't quite believe it! I have become more of a fan of F-book and have had lots of fun chats with people on there - plus I've uploaded lots of photos!! Now I'm wondering if it was wise. To tell the truth I probably will join one of those "againt" groups on F-book - it might be the only way to get noticed!!

Steve said...

Trouble is OC, as soon as you join one of those groups F-Book then has a little more info on you...! I've uploaded precious little in reality as I have a loathe-hate relationship with the way the site works anyway but I know that Karen has uploaded quite a few photos of the family. I don't see why F-book should be able to own photos of my kids to do with as it pleases!

The Sagittarian said...

Wow, thats incredible. I haven't got into Facebook and keep resisting attempts from my (real) freinds to join it. The dislike for it for me started when I received an invitation from a friend to view his facebook entry but first I had to join the blasted thing. Sounded like the pushing antics of certain religious groups to me, so I did a cyber-flip-the-bird to them and haven't darkened their doorstep since.

The Sagittarian said...

BTW, lovely to see the OC is still out and about!!

Steve said...

Amanda, you are a wiser person than I am. Wish I'd done the same. Your comparison to a religious group is an interesting one and not really that outlandish... I wonder when they'll start asking for donation to save people's cyber souls?

KAZ said...

Just in time Steve.
I have a 'facebook' but I don't use it.
I was just considering the possibility of writing a profile and getting some friends.
Perhaps not.

Rol said...

Evil, evil, evil.

Let's burn it down.

Steve said...

Kaz, regarding the friends thing... don't bother. They're never worth it. ;-)

Rol, I like your style. I'll bring the petrol, you bring the inflammatory slogans.

rachael chatoor said...

I think Facebook has done a backpedal, it seems they were the only ones who thought it was a good idea, and they couldn't stand up to the back lash.

Crazy. I posted songs and videos on FB, luckily only rough drafts, but still. They do not belong to anyone but me.

Steve said...

Damn. I had the flaming brands already (nothing to do with Jo or Russell I hasten to add).

Ah well.

Thanks for the tip-off Rachael. Good to know that the might of mass dissention and protest still has the power to steer those-that-think-they-know-better back onto the paths of righteousness.

Daisy said...

i went on because it is the only way to get emails from my sister as she is a bit comp illiterate and someone showed her you know, my site does not support correct information so they can hold it all they want...i could care

Steve said...

I must admit, Daisy, I find myself lying and presenting misinformation online more and more these days - all in self defense - but it's the only way to protect yourself sometimes.

justme said...

I like Facebook! I use the stautus updates the way some people use twitter. But I have always assumed that whatever I say is out in the public domain, and am therefore careful which photos I post and so on. I don't put it on there unless it really IS public! Glad they have backed down on the changes to terms and conditions though!

MommyHeadache said...

yeah, facebook does feel a bit clunky like yesterday's technology, like one of those mobiles that were shaped like a brick. I believe all the young twits are now on twitter. I am @emmakaufmann ... join us!!

Steve said...

Justme, I think they underestimated the strength of feeling of their "customers". Glad they've got the brains to see sense!

Emma, already there - I've been a twit for ages!

Anonymous said...

WooHoo! I just joined Twitter. Love it so far. Much nicer than Evil Facebook!

I'm following you sweetie pie!

Steve said...

Following you too, Sweetie! ;-)

Glenda Young said...

Yes, I'm wondering what to do about it all myself too.

Anonymous said...

I have tried to get into Facebook and I hate it. I really do.

I keep thinking I will jack it in but then when people talk about Facebook I won't be able to join in and moan in an informed way, so I haven't yet.

I much prefer Blogger and Twitter - you don't have to feel you are part of something someone else has created, they are less organised and secondary-school like somehow. All those stupid groups and those silly invites you get and those messages saying "someone likes you or voted for you" or somesuch make me want to chuck my laptop against the wall.

I hate Facebook more with every monnth that goes by. I certainly wouldn't put anything on there that I wouldn't post up on the wall in the supermarket.

I must get a Flickr account actually as I really only use FAcebook to share photos and it isn't particularly good for that anyway.

Ah - it's always nice to have a good moan! Thanks for that.

Steve said...

Me too Nora. my Facebook page is still there despite my rant. Mainly because I can't be arsed to log onto my account and go through the whole rigmarole of trying to delete it.

Gina, you've summed up rather nicely why I prefer blogging and Twittering (Twitting?) and loathe Facebook. Feel free to have a rant here anytime. 9 times out of 10 I shall probably concur.

Suburbia said...

Just deleted my account too. I'd much rather be in Blogsville

Steve said...

The revolution starts here...! ;-)

French Fancy... said...

I'm so glad that the day I had the 'shall I get a page on Facebook' urge, I desisted. I joined Twitter for 20 minutes the other day - I wonder if it's a record.

Steve said...

Definitely one to be proud of if it is...!

The Poet Laura-eate said...

Steve I agree with every last word in this post.

Facebook is annoying on so many levels and I wreak my revenge by only logging in once a week and putting a false DOB and hardly any photos or wall postings up.