Facebook Policy Primer by Prasanth Kandeepan


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  • I like the fact that you used Facebook for your primer. Facebook is a prime example of how the Internet is used today as a “publishing platform, a personal communications medium, and an economic vehicle” (Villeneuve, 2006).

    The fact that Facebook now has over 1 billion users is evidence of its success (Facebook, 2012). It is an important fact you mention that Facebook places a large amount of responsibility onto its users to determine how they choose their privacy. If users don’t read the TOS (as we know is most likely the majority), they would not be aware of this. Although much personal information is shared knowingly, there is also perhaps much is shared unknowingly. As you pointed out, a lot of Internet users appear to be “unaware of the amount of personal identifiable information they have provided to an indeterminate number of people” (Goettke & Christiana, 2007, p1). There appears to be a general lack of concern by many within social networks about privacy settings. Goettke and Christiana (2007) point out this could be due to the fact that many are unaware of who gets to see this information and how this information may be used (i.e. they don’t read the TOS). Goettke and Christiana cite research conducted the found that users of Facebook are generally “quite oblivious, unconcerned, or just pragmatic about their personal privacy” (Geottke & Christiana, 2007, p2). I wonder if there was a simple explanation of the Terms of Use such as you have provided if this would still be the case.

    I did feel some of the slides were a little cramped with wording – maybe spreading them out over a few more slides would have made it a little easier to read. I liked the way you set up each section with a heading (e.g. safety, copyright) to structure your presentation in a logical way.


    Facebook (2012) Facebook Statement of Rights and Responsibilities. Retrieved from https://www.facebook.com/legal/terms

    Goettke, R., & Christiana, J. (2007). Privacy and Online Social Networking Websites. Computer Science 199r: Special Topics in Computer Science Computation and Society: Privacy and Technology. Retrieved from http://www.eecs.harvard.edu/cs199r/fp/RichJoe.pdf

    Villeneuve, N. (2006). The filtering matrix: Integrated mechanisms of information control and the demarcation of borders in cyberspace. First Monday, 11(1). Retrieved from http://firstmonday.org/htbin/cgiwrap/bin/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/1307/1227
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  • Some great insight has been provided through your Policy Primer.
    I had no idea a convicted sex offender was unable to join. Not saying a fake name would not be used instead, but just thought it was good that, if using their real name it would be cross-referenced and checked.
    Nor did I realise that children under the age of 13 could sign up with parental supervision.
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Facebook Policy Primer by Prasanth Kandeepan

  2. 2. What is Facebook? is k? A free social networking website Interact with families/friends Share photos and/or videos Play games online Email and instant messaging Join groups Chat room for online users
  3. 3. TERMS OF SERVICE The Facebook terms of service or terms of use covers all the basic areas of copyright, contents, privacy, safety, and liability. These terms are important for users Users need to read it very carefully. Do not accept any terms and conditions that you do not agree too.
  4. 4. CONTENT AND CONTROL When users post personal photos and videos on to Facebook, they give Facebook permission to use them without any restriction. Users own the content but the content can be spread anywhere in the world with various platforms and applications. Facebook is not liable for this and most importantly, users use their own discretion when posting items. Users can adjust their settings to suit their needs.
  5. 5. PRIVACY Facebook places a large amount of responsibility, onto its users, and how they choose their privacy settings. Passwords are the sole responsibility of the user, a stronger password is more secure. Dont share your password with others. Facebook admits to sharing users information with third parties. Users must be aware that everything they post on Facebook is at their own risk. Facebook users must choose to block access to their profile. If not they are leaving themselves open to anyone to see their information. We found that users are generally unaware and/or unconcerned with protecting their privacy on social networking sites.(Christiana & Goettke,2007).
  6. 6. COPYRIGHT Facebook users cannot post images and videos that are under copyright. Facebook users cannot open false accounts under another person’s name. 89% of Facebook users provide their real name and only 8% provided a fake name.(Gross & Acquisti 2005). Facebook users cannot use other people’s personal information in a harmful manner. Facebook users must be aware that no compensation is made payable if users content are used elsewhere in other platforms.
  7. 7. TERMINATION OF ACCOUNT Facebook terminated users accounts if they fail to meet the agreed requirements of terms. Termination reason can be for legal issues, harassment of other users, sending viruses. Facebook still has access to users information in case of termination. Users still has a chance to create new accounts with their pet names or false names.
  8. 8. CHILDREN Facebook do not allow children under 13 years to join. If any kids under 13 creates an account, then the Facebook will immediately delete their account. Facebook allow kids under 13 to create an account under parental supervision. Convicted sex offender also cannot join Facebook
  9. 9. SAFETY Facebook does not guarantee the safety of users and it’s up to users to set their own settings to protect themselves. Facebook do not allow unauthorized commercial communications such as spams. Facebook users are not allow to upload or send viruses. Facebook users are not allow to harass other users
  10. 10. LIABILITYFacebook don’t accept: Any legal responsibility for any problems that may arise. Any damages caused by third parties. Loss of income or profits. Responsibility for any content, information or data.Users must accept responsibility for anydamages that they receive or incur.
  11. 11. SPECIAL CONDITIONS Users can access Facebook with their mobile phones for free. Fees apply for text messages. Keep the mobile phone number up to date to ensure the messages sent to the right number.
  12. 12. REFERENCES Facebook terms.(2012).Retrieved from http://www.facebook.com/legal/terms Facebook Privacy Policy. (2012). Retrieved from http://www.facebook.com/policy.php Gross, R., & Acquisti, A. (2005). Information revelation and privacy in online social networks. Retrieved from http://www.heinz.cmu.edu/~acquisti/papers/privacy-facebook-gross-acquisti.pdf Goettke, R., & Christiana, J. (2007). Privacy and Online Social Networking Websites. Computer Science 199r: Special Topics in Computer Science Computation and Society: Privacy and Technology. Retrieved September 12, 2009, from http://www.eecs.harvard.edu/cs199r/fp/RichJoe.pdf Privacy on Facebook. (2012). Retrieved from http://www.facebook.com/privacy/explanation.php IMAGES: For my policy primer I used free images from Google and the credits goes to them.