Revelations within Facebook’s Terms of Service

Do you usually just scroll down the terms of service and click accept without even reading the actual content?

I am sure I am not alone and must admit that when I signed up for Facebook, Instagram, Google and any other service applications, I would skip ahead the terms and conditions and without knowing what I agreed on, I would just check off the box and start using that new online platform.

Have you ever wondered, what these terms and conditions would be about?

I know a lot of people that just like me never had an interest on knowing what these terms could mean, or just were lazy and didn’t want to waste time reading unnecessary rules.

I came across this video, and it seems like a lot of other people don’t read the Terms and Conditions.

I’ve been a Facebook member for the last 9 years of my life, since signing up in 2007, not even once I’ve read over the terms and conditions they partake. Throughout the years, Facebook has changed immensely and has become one of the biggest brand names out there. Even with the yearly changes Facebook makes, I’ve never sat down and carefully read it over.

Because Facebook has “only” 1.71 billion monthly active users and it is without a doubt that most also blindly agree to those endless terms and conditions. I decided because it’s Tuesday and I have some time to kill, I should read over Facebook’s terms of service and show readers if I see anything surprising or problematic within the content.

15 minutes later…

Surprisingly, the agreement was not as long as I thought. With only 18 categories mentioned, I read the entire agreement between the parties regarding Facebook. They provide additional information at the end of the agreement, about the use of the platform relating specific topics or areas that are not generally concerned with most users. You could read those in your own time but in this blog I am only covering the general terms of use and interesting things I came across with.

Throughout the whole document, Facebook seems to be not so out of the ordinary and delivers policies that I personally think most “terms of service” must have. Because like you that might be reading this blog, I am not knowledgeable or an expert in what exactly these agreements must portray and thought that by reading Instagram’s terms of use I could see some similarities or differences between them.

Sincerely, I didn’t’ find anything that was highly controversial, everything like safety, registration, accounts, protecting rights, devices, termination seemed to be appropriate categories to have within an agreement. Both Facebook’s Terms of Service and Instagram’s Terms of Use displayed the same amount of relevancy.

However, when reading through Facebook’s sharing content and information terms I was somewhat concerned on what some of these meant and how for the last 9 years of my life have really not paid enough attention to.

From the time I became a Facebook user to today, to every trip I’ve been, every memory, every picture I have shared, my opinions, what I like, what I don’t, the content I view or engage with, my response to society acts or just communicating with my friends, family and communities within the Facebook world. Facebook make us believe we have a private space and are able to share and be free. In reality, Facebook shares and collects all the information we provide them to personalize our profiles, suggest companies with relevant information and send us marketing information.

Facebook’s Terms of Service state:

“You own all of the content and information you post on Facebook, and you can control how it is shared through your privacy and application settings.

In addition:

For content that is covered by intellectual property rights, like photos and videos you specifically give us the following permission,

subject to your privacy and application settings: 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 (IP License).

This IP License ends when you delete your IP content or your account unless your content has been shared with others, and they have not deleted it.

You give us permission to use your name, profile picture, content, and information in connection with commercial, sponsored, or related content served or enhanced by us.

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.

We share information we have about you within the family of companies that are part of Facebook.

As I read this, I was stunned. Although, this is my content and I choose how it’s being shared or how it used. Facebook has the permission to access this content and track our steps through the web, with the information we either click on, like , or just share with a friend. Facebook is giving our information to companies so that both Facebook and the company monetize from our content. Even if I delete my FB account the company will still have access to some of the content I have shared or information that other have posted about me with their own accounts.

Being that I just read and came knowledgeable in how Facebook deceives its users by using our information for their own good, how they share our information for companies to make money out of it . Ultimately, knowing that it was us that allowed this to even happen, what’s done is done but, it should be us that should be more aware and making sure to think twice and read before accepting any future Terms and Conditions agreements.