With Facebook announcing their new ad platform and Google’s OpenSocial announcement last week, the social networking arena is getting a lot of press now. Because of that, and also because I was just at Podcamp last week, I think now’s as good a time as any for me to explain why I’m not on Facebook.
Firstly, something that is surprisingly not that well documented (based on my searches, at least). This is the biggest thing that’s preventing me from joining Facebook. From their Terms and Conditions:
When you post User Content to the Site, you authorize and direct us to make such copies thereof as we deem necessary in order to facilitate the posting and storage of the User Content on the Site. 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.
Personally, I think that’s a horrendous policy. It basically gives them the right to do whatever they want with the things you post, and keep copies even after you leave. And keep in mind that “User Content” includes things like your profile.
Secondly, an article I just read today, but which has been around for a couple of weeks. Apparently Facebook employees can (and do) see what you do on Facebook. Invasion of privacy anyone?
Considering these two simple things, I don’t really want to ever go on Facebook. Yes, it does have its purpose, and most people don’t really post things important, but the intrusion of privacy is just too much for me.