Critique: Facebook

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Facebook is a great website to facilitate connections between friends and family. This is not always necessary with close friends but it is useful when connecting with people with whom you have lost touch, have not seen in a long time or who have moved far away. Although these connections may be fleeting and superficial since you may only exchange likes on photos, they are generally positive. It is enjoyable to reconnect with people you used to know and see where they are today. However, in order to be a Facebook member, you must give Facebook full power over anything you post on their site. What is specifically concerning is how photos or other content uploaded to Facebook can be used by Facebook or someone else in a way that the user has no control over. A photographer retains intellectual property rights over an image they upload to Facebook but this photo can now be used by Facebook as long as it is on Facebook. If the author deletes the photo from the site but it has been shared with someone else, and thus is still on Facebook, it can be used by Facebook anyway. By agreeing to Facebook’s terms of service, you agree to Facebook using your content in any way the company likes without needing to compensate you or even let you know. There is no way around this other than not to post content on Facebook or not to post content that you do not want to see used in a way you did not intend. Unfortunately, behaving in this way can hinder a user’s possible connections and ultimately defeat the purpose of being on Facebook.

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