Sunday, February 13, 2011

Facebook Etiquette

I don't use Facebook, so it's hard for me to define whether what people do on there is considered normal and acceptable. For example: is it considered a normal part of Facebook etiquette to publish pictures of people (not celebrities, just regular people) without asking for their permission? I have discovered, for example, that there is a person who has declared in international search for me and is posting my pictures and asking people if they know where I  am. To me that seems to be in horribly bad taste. For one, I'm not on Facebook, so I don't have a way of knowing what has been posted and actually looking at those pictures. I also never gave any permission for my photos to be put up there. Or anywhere for that matter. And, of course, if I made myself hard for that particular person to find, it might be that I'm not interested in being found by them.

I'd never post photos of people on my blog without their explicit consent, and it seems weird to me that anybody would do such a thing on Facebook or elsewhere. Especially if it's a social medium that is closed to anybody who is not a member. But is it considered a normal practice on Facebook, though? If there are Facebook users among my readers, do you do this? Am I being an old-fashioned fuddy-duddy in my rejection of such practices?


Tim said...

I often think people on facebook and the like forget that they are posting in front of a audience of possibly millions of others. They think they share pictures or private/embarassing stuff to only their family and friends but are actually putting things up for pretty much everone to see.

This can be especially problematic if you take into consideration that data posted on the internet cannot be effectively reversed and what happens to it is beyond your control.

As for posting pictures of someone without consent, doing so might not only be uncool on a moral level but also illegal depending on where you are. It certainly could be procecuted here in Germany (Unless the picture was taken under certain conditions).

human said...

I think there's a real division of opinion on this point. I don't think you're being a fuddy-duddy in not wanting your photo posted, but there are some people who would just flat out not understand that. And there are a lot who would understand it. I don't think there's any real consensus.

My own personal take on it is that if someone is on facebook, it can be done within reason -- by that I mean no obviously objectionable photos, and no photos posted of someone if you already know they don't want you to. The reason is that it's easy enough to delink those photos from your name if you choose. But if someone is posting photos of you and you're not on facebook, as you point out, you can't just remove your name, so that's more problematic.

Once I had someone post photos of me that resulted in a casual acquaintance greeting me by telling me he'd seen my boobs on facebook. Fortunately, it wasn't a professional acquaintance or anything, but ever since I have been much more careful about what I give people permission to post, and what I allow to stay up if people post without asking me.

Pen said...

Isn't that a form of cyber stalking? Posting pictures and asking everyone where you are? It's what my ex-boyfriend used to do on an art site I belonged to--he used to stalk my statistics, seeing when I had been online, and sent private notes to my friends asking where I was. He also did the same thing on Facebook, holding chat sessions with my friends to see what I might be doing at any specific time.

Is there some way this person could be notified that what he is doing is morally unsound and possibly illegal?

Snarky Writer said...

Luckily, since you're not on FB, this person can't "tag" you in the photo, which means people won't find it in a search for pictures of you. S/he can put your name in the caption, but it doesn't make it searchable.

If this person hasn't set their profile to really really private, you can probably go see what they're posting. If nothing else, if you have their name, you can e-mail FB and request that the photos be taken down because they violate the terms of service--this person does not have permission to distribute pictures of you.

Pagan Topologist said...

I certainly would not do that. At the very least it is rude and inconsiderate.

KT said...

When I first saw the title of this post, I thought of a Facebook link I had sent to you and wondered if it had anything to do with it. Now, after reading I'm glad it wasn't me.

Shedding Khawatir said...

I occasionally put up pictures of people without their explicit permission. Usually this is only for people who aren't on Facebook, as otherwise I would tag them, and they can let me know if they don't like the picture. This has only ever happened once, when a friend thought she looked too fat in the picture, as I don't put up embarrassing pictures, period. A picture I would put up without permission is usually something like my mother posing with me in front of a monument. The situation you are describing, on the other hand, sounds like stalking and not okay at all.

Anonymous said...

"data posted on the internet cannot be effectively reversed and what happens to it is beyond your control."

For instance, that's why I am "glad" to have been bullied at school in 1992 and not 2004. Because shortly before the internet came up, I finished school. G-L-A-D-L-Y.
Bullying these days is MUCH WORSE than you could ever imagine before: malevolent classmates will lurk behind corners, take photos of you with their cell phones and publish these together with a very offensive text on the internet.
Ah, that's enough for them, you say? WRONG. They might get you as far as flying off the handle, and film you using their hi-tech phones or smartphones (if Daddy @home is rich enough)...

Of course, the LOCATION where the photos/videos are is guarded like a treasury amongst fellow bulliers.
How long does it take until this has eventually vanished from the f%&king net? 10 years? 30 years? Maybe it will stay even in 100 years on some god-forsaken server?!

Nobody knows.

See, that's why some adolescents committed SUICIDE because they could not bear the thought any longer of being available for gazillions without knowing where. It's that very thing of our oh-so-great "digital era" that gives me the creeps.