Facebook is at it again. Here’s what you need to know.


The only two things you need to know about Facebook’s new terms of use are these:

  • “You grant us a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use any IP content that you post on or in connection with Facebook.”
  • “You give us permission to use your name, and profile picture, content, and information in connection with commercial, sponsored, or related that content (such as a brand you like) served or enhanced by us, subject to the limits you place. This means, for example, that you permit a business or other entity to pay us to display your name and/or profile picture with your content or information, without any compensation to you.”

The first part, you have already agreed upon. Facebook can share your content freely already. The second part adds the right for them to monetize images without giving you anything in exchange, if you let them.

The key part is “subject to the limits you place.” Apparently, Facebook will allow you to decide via tools which content can and cannot be monetized by them. That is important for photographers because it seems that there will be an opportunity to protect images from being used for advertising campaigns sold by Facebook.

However, because the tools are not visible yet, it is hard to know how simple this process will be. We have seen Facebook hide privacy tools pretty well in the past, making them practically unusable.

It is also quite possible that in the near future, if you do not let Facebook monetize your content, they will make you pay to use their service. After all, they are a business, not a non-profit.

This should come as no surprise to those comfortable with social media. The rules are simple: they offer a free service for you to post and share content, which they then monetize. Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Google Plus and Tumblr are all on the same path.

What can you do about it?
- Stop using Facebook (and consider dropping all other social media channels as they reveal their business plans)
- Continue to use Facebook :

  • Avoid posting any images.
  • Ignore the changes and hope for the best
  • Manage settings so Facebook can’t use your images
  • Start controlling your images and monetization by using tools like Stipple
  • Post comments on their forum in the hopes they will change their minds
  • Find a lawyer willing to sue Facebook
  • Organize or be part of a massive movement against Facebook’s new terms
  • Be ready to repeat any of these options when the next massive social media channel announces a similar plan.

One Response to “Facebook is at it again. Here’s what you need to know.”

  1. The changes Facebook suggested on August 29th have not been actually implemented.

    The issue is currently being reviewed by the FTC to see if the language complies with a 2001 privacy settlement with the FTC. Also the case which gave rise to the settlement and the court-ordered language, Fraley vs. Facebook, is now under appeal in the Ninth Circuit Court.

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