Many people have lost loved ones. It’s always a sad event, what can make it worse: Seeing your loved one liking something from beyond the grave. Facebook advertising allows that you and people on your friends lists can be used in advertising to “like” brands and products that you may not have agreed to. Imagine my surprise and my wife’s shock when a friend who passed away a few weeks before, showed up on her timeline “liking” Target. I have heard many similar horror stories. The attempts to close down the pages of the deceased also meet with resistance. Everything posted on Facebook becomes property of Facebook, and it is difficult to get them to relinquish it.
Everything Posted on Facebook Belongs to Facebook
Pictures, stories, statuses, all of these are the property of Facebook inc. They use this information to market to you on behalf of other companies, or they even sell pictures to advertising agencies. One story even shows how a pro-life group co-opted a young girls picture that was posted by her mother for a racist anti-abortion ad. The picture was legally obtained, and even though she is suing, unfortunately, there isn’t much she can do. (Update, apparently, the group has taken the billboard down after pressure.) The point is the same though. Anyone can use any picture, any time.
Your Boss is Watching
In this day and age, people are still surprised when they get fired, suspended or in trouble for things they post on social media. Even if you try to be slick and make your page for friends only, if they “like” or “share” a status or picture, it can go viral quickly. Just ask the cheerleader who was fired for posting a picture of her next to a passed out dude whom had penises and swastikas drawn on him. Once you post something, it’s easy for it to get out of hand. The simplest thing to do is to post nothing.
Small Businesses are Losing Out
There was a time when small businesses were able to leverage Facebook to help get their message out. Whether it was a mom and pop car dealership, or your friend’s artisanal soap business, Facebook was the place to be. Then something funny started happening. If you sent out a post, only five or six people on your fan page got the post. The only way to get out the message was to pay for it. Now, I for one, am not against a business making money by selling ads, especially when they give a mostly free service. However, making the change and keeping it on double secret probation was dirty pool. Recent changes have removed unpaid posts all together. Unless someone intentionally goes to your page and shares it, or you pay to “Boost” your post, no one will see it.
Everyone is Watching
A search on Google for students suspended for Facebook posts returns a staggering amount of stories. Now, I’m not going to defend some of the asinine things they have done, but I will question the schools authority to discipline the student for something that has noting to do with school, or exercising their right to free speech. One of the biggest trials going currently, is of Ross Ulbricht, the alleged Dread Pirate Roberts of the Dark Net Market, Silk Road. Ulbricht, in several postings self identified as DPR. As a matter of fact, when law enforcement Googled Dread Pirate Roberts, aside from some wonderful Princess Bride sites, it lead right back to Ulbricht. I’ll say that again. They googled his online persona and it lead straight back to his Facebook profile and some other online postings. That’s some mighty fine police work Lou. Even if you don’t have anything to hide, any seemingly innocent comment, or criticism is logged, made available, and opens you to judgement.
In a world, where privacy is rapidly becoming the single biggest concern, giving all your personal information to a company, who makes no bones about selling it is just irresponsible. Fair disclosure, I will be posting this to my Facebook page. I will maintain my Facebook page, but I am careful about what I put on it…when I even check it anymore. I urge you, good reader, to either take control of your information, or delete it all together…if you can.