The article highlights the changes and criticizes the new language describing the rights of Facebook to receive payment to sell user content.
What it fails to do is instruct users to read or think for themselves. It also doesn’t differentiate between content users post privately or publicly.
If you don’t want your content sold or used without your specific knowledge or permission, change your settings to “private.”
There are quite a few things that bother me about this. The first is that several of the people I consider to be the more intelligent, thoughtful, and rational critical thinkers, whom I consider to be trusted resources and advisors, appear to have taken the information provided in the article at its face value instead of reading through the policies themselves .
It’s a bit tedious and dry reading, but well worth it to obtain first-hand knowledge and make an informed and autonomous decision. Don’t get me wrong, I am as likely as anyone to click that I have read, accepted, and agreed to things, which I have not actually done because I’m in a hurry to move on with whatever I’m trying to accomplish.
It bothers me to have a news article tell me what to think and be AFRAID of without finding out the facts for myself. That’s how politicians, spin doctors, and mass murder/suicide cult leaders manipulate people into doing stupid and heinous things.
Another thing that bothers me in this whole mess is the “something for nothing” mentality. Our society criticizes “welfare” recipients and corporate entities alike for not paying their share and contributing to the betterment and improvement of the world. Yet we feel somehow entitled to use these services to communicate, debate, create, share, and so much more without paying or doing anything more than pushing a button or typing a password.
Who has paid for their Facebook or Instagram services? Other than game credits or those paying to promote their product, service, or business, what do we contribute toward the maintenance, upkeep, hardware, software, paychecks or salaries needed to operate these services? Not me and I’m pretty sure you haven’t either.
What then? “There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch.” Somebody has to pay the bills. If we don’t want too many commercials in between our music and visual entertainment we pay subscriber fees. Businesses “sponsor” content by paying to advertise. If the majority of Facebook and Instagram users are non-purchasing consumers who avoid and ignore the advertisers, what’s the next way to pay the bills? Sell something. What to sell? Public content displayed by the non-purchasing consumers.
Somebody has got to pay for us to play, why shouldn’t it be us?
What about our rights to privacy and to not have our children or our intellectual and creative properties exploited?
Simple, learn how the apps and settings work and keep your content private and unsharable. If you don’t want your child’s face seen by strangers, don’t share it with strangers. Limit your friends and your followers, monitor the privacy settings on your albums. Better yet, send it in a private email to those you know and trust.
If you want to copyright your words, images, thoughts and ideas to make sure you retain credit and rights to them, then take the time to learn how to copyright and protect your work and don’t rely on another person, organization, or business to do it for you. Many will operate ethically and with respect and decency. Others will not. If you don’t take the time and put in the effort to protect and inform yourself don’t be surprised or offended when others don’t do it for you.
If you are an entrepreneurial business person who uses these services to publicly advertise your business but are profiting from these free to you services, you may need to form a coalition of others like you and working within the framework of copyrights and free enterprise negotiate different terms and conditions where you may wind up sharing your proceeds to defray costs and retain your rights to publicly posted content.
I am not advocating or championing Facebook or Instagram. There may be better service options that are better and more user friendly and respectful. I’m just saying find out the facts, think things through, and decide for yourself.
By the way, that works in other areas of life too: politics, religion, and interpersonal relationships.