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Since When did Facebook become gross?

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I got a message from someone about the new Facebook app about a new way “….for you to connect to things other than people, without cluttering your Friend List.” The blog entry can be read here. The upshot is, you can create a Facebook page for fans, of your TV show, film, carpet cleaning company, snack food, whatever. People can add themselves as “fans” and you can contact them, upload videos, etc.

Fine, I do it for The Guild. We have a Facebook group already, but I’m first to jump on new stuff, so I do it. A whole page pops up about creating an ad. This is when it gets creepy.

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Yeah. I start clicking, and all these options come up. I could create an ad targeting 13-15 year old boys in high school, in Georgia who are single, conservative, work at McDonalds, who like rock music and World of Warcraft and…what the fuck!? It even provides an option to have a little testimonial thing next to your ad from a “friend” of yours, like “Felicia bought tickets to Dave Matthews Yesterday” next to a Dave Matthews advertisement.

I don’t know about you guys, but it seems like a crazy invasion of privacy. Yes, I volunteered that information because it was part of setting up a page. Yes, I supposed I signed my rights away at some point for them to market it so this is semi-legal, but when it’s in your face like that…I don’t know, it makes me feel pretty skeeved out.

It makes me want to go back to MySpace, and man, you guys know how hard THAT is for me. I’d kinda rather have cluttered and disorganized, than sleek, shiny and diabolical.

  • SomaSwordSaint

    blame bill/microsoft [for making it into a money scheme]

  • edgar

    The more time progresses, the more that privacy line starts blurring. Google is also guilty of taking your emails and giving you ads associated with the keywords.

    Someone will always do what they can to make money off this.

  • Jeff

    Call it the business in the Information Age, or call it the Google Effect, but everybody nowadays seems to be fighting to be the next big money maker using “personalized” information like this.

    Between the whole sharing of profile info with public search engines and advertisers, Facebook does seem to be doing something shady and illegal, despite their Terms.

    Anybody who signs up agrees to their Terms and should take time to read it (http://www.facebook.com/terms.php):

    “By posting User Content to any part of the Site, you automatically grant, and you represent and warrant that you have the right to grant, to the Company an irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive, transferable, fully paid, worldwide license (with the right to sublicense) to use, copy, publicly perform, publicly display, reformat, translate, excerpt (in whole or in part) and distribute such User Content for any purpose on or in connection with the Site or the promotion thereof, to prepare derivative works of, or incorporate into other works, such User Content, and to grant and authorize sublicenses of the foregoing. You may remove your User Content from the Site at any time. If you choose to remove your User Content, the license granted above will automatically expire, however you acknowledge that the Company may retain archived copies of your User Content.”

  • Oh, crap Jeff. I posted the first 3 Guild episodes on there because the page looked bare. Should I take those down now?

  • Funny that Google is brought up.
    Google owns YouTube now right? That was the end of 2006 – and well in April 2007 they bought a company called DoubleClick which is an internet ad company

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DoubleClick

    Definately NOT a Bill Gates thing considering they have been doing this long before microsoft was mainstream. I mean how long have telemarketers been around? The Nielson ratings and Billboard magazine’s WHOLE purpose is to track sales of entertainment.
    Like marketing people give a damn about what is ethical or moral?
    They’re salesmen – plain and simple. I lump them in with most lawyers and politicians in the catagory of who is destroying society most.
    In every job I have had – the salesmen have always been the scum that didn’t care what they had to do as long as you signed the contract. That is what happens when there really isn’t any end point of what to care about. With making movies you have a product or result to be proud of, as you do with so many other things – music or being a doctor or scientist – there is a goal that is based on something you enjoy outside of just making money. Salesmen have nothing like that – just selling. And that is what marketing is about – selling. It doesn’t matter what or who or in what way as long as those numbers are where they need to be. Makes me want to vomit.
    This who thing takes me back to why I love Fight Club so much.

  • Jeff

    I’m not sure what to suggest. 🙁 Maybe somebody else knows better about this kind of legal stuff?

    It’s a direct link to YouTube, no? Bah, I’m not sure…

  • Courtney

    Felicia, don’t worry about it. Any video hosting site will have very similar wording on their legalese. In fact, if any legal page doesn’t have pages upon pages of legal jargon, I’d be very careful with it. I’ve had to talk to a lawyer about this not too long ago. They try to think of any and all cases that someone might sue the site for and fitting it into one document. Most of it will not come into play for 99.99% of the users, but there’s always that one prick that makes it necessary for lawyers. It’s especially true for digital media hosting, since it is still a very new medium, and sites want to cover themselves for the present and future.

    The beginning is basically saying that they can host it and have ads on the page that is hosting it. The phrasing at the end is the opt out WHICH IS VERY IMPORTANT. If any video site doesn’t have this, be very cautious (there are a few). Also, be sure that there is nothing that mentions the site getting exclusivity rights. Again, most don’t, but some do.

    If you want, I can explain it in further details. Email me

  • Cool, that makes me feel better. I know that other video sites have that wording, but now I”m wary of Facebook so I got a little jumpy 🙂

  • Jeff

    Heh, thanks Courtney. Figured somebody here would know! I admit I don’t really know much about most legal stuff (science, brain, and computer crap is much easier to wrap my head around. ;))

    And yeah, I suppose YouTube would probably have similar wording in their terms; can’t check now still being at work.

    I guess the last sentence is the “opt out” you’re talking about?

    “If you choose to remove your User Content, the license granted above will automatically expire, however you acknowledge that the Company may retain archived copies of your User Content.”

  • Courtney

    Yeah… that’s a very good, important thing. If it didn’t have that line, theoretically, they can continue to display your work even if you want it off. Note, that while they COULD, odds are they won’t. Like I said, it’s basically a way for them to try and protect themselves for future technology (for example, cell phones, iTV, p2p, etc). There was one site that would sell your videos for ads and they’d keep all the profits. Forgot the site.

    An interesting legal case was some asshole lawyer made a site. In the legalese, he included the following line buried in the middle of a paragraph: “By registering an account, you agree to pay the host five thousand US dollars.” He actually went to court to try and force people to pay it, but the case was thrown out.

    It’s interesting. The language can be different on every single video-hosting site is all different, but they talk about the same issues. So you basically know what the topics are and try to find what correlates.

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