Tag Archives: Terms and Conditions

Privacy and Social Media

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I personally recheck my privacy settings every time I see through the news that there has been an update. One of the platforms that changes the most frequently is Facebook. I think they do a great job of sending a prompt when you sign in next to remind people of a new profile change, it always makes me wonder why they don’t prompt people to double check their privacy settings. I think a big part of it is that they want to share the information that is “public” at the time to create algorithms and sell the information.

If this platform and other platforms sent out notifications when they were changing their privacy policy, I think it would prompt people to be more in tune with what is going on and check it out. I personally always keep my settings on public, so I don’t feel a need to change things, but for people who are concerned with their privacy, it is important to be aware of this.

I personally don’t think that it is ethical for reporters to reach out to people through their social media sites, but it doesn’t surprise me that it happens. I think that reporters for the most part feel that they have to get the story and don’t mind reaching out to people on social media in order to do so. And truthfully, should they feel any differently? They shouldn’t, because if people don’t want to be reached, they shouldn’t post things on the internet. By putting things on social media, people are already allowing themselves to be found and searched and their information seen.

While people post whatever they want to social media platforms, they still feel that what they post is their own property, so I think that it is important to not reprint something even if it has been posted publicly. I think people should be warned before their content is used as far as ethical reasoning but to be honest, I don’t know if it has to happen. At this point, people should know that everything that they share online or on any mobile device is out for everyone to see and that they can trust no one. This would mean that whatever people post they would actually have the presence of mind to see that it could get reposted or used in an article.

My blog has been shared and written about and I am thrilled every time that happens! I know that what I am posting is online and I love when I get more exposure through someone else sharing my work. I think that if people had more presence of mind when they posted and thought of the possible repercussions, they might think twice before posting which would probably make this less of an issue.

Taking a Look at Pinterest

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Pinterest1This week I was asked to take a closer look at a social media platform and the “Terms and Conditions” and I chose Pinterest. I chose Pinterest mainly because I think it is a growing platform and one that I truly enjoy using. When I started to research the Terms of Service, I found out that in 2012 Pinterest had changed their Terms due to major backlash after people realized what they had agreed to.

A particularly good post about what was wrong with the site was one written by the Shrimp Salad Circus. She described why she had deleted all of her pins after carefully curating content. As it turns out, Pinterest had decided to not allow people to use Pinterest for self promotion, but expected people to own the content that they were posting. I was very confused by this and had to read the legal jargon a few times before I actually began to understand why this was such a conundrum. The fact is, most people use this site to create boards of wonderful things that they want to look at and keep for use at a later date. However, 99% of the time, they do not own that content. Which means that people should not be pinning anything except for the 1% that they own. What?

So many people were upset, that Pinterest did something great. They listened to their audience and changed their Terms. I found an article by the Huffington Post about the changes. It talks about how people were upset and how they changed the Terms to make them more palatable for people.

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Above is a screen shot of the current Terms of Service when it comes to “Your Content”. The terms have changed to accommodate the requests by users, which I think shows how they were willing to deal with the ethical problems that their original Terms contained. Another point of ethics that I think Pinterest shows is how they have the “More simply put” boxes next to every paragraph explaining what it means for the user in simple terms. It shows how they are trying to make their terms simpler so that people actually know what they are getting into when they sign up. I think this is a great way to make sure that ethically they are making users happy as well as avoiding all unethical implications by confusing their users.

However, when it comes to the Copyright policy, I noticed that they didn’t put their “More simply put” boxes to make things less complex. On that page they used a lot of jargon and I think there was a reason for that. Since the copyright laws are what caused the problem for them the first time around, it is intentionally confusing for users to understand. At this time there is not a problem, but there is a potential problem if lawsuits end up happening and the original pinner and any other secondary pinner becomes held liable.

Let’s Take a Close Look..

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Terms and ConditionsI have to be honest, I never read the “Terms and Conditions”. I get a sinking feeling every time I sign something electronically since I know I am held to what I signed. The only two times I have read the conditions of anything fully is when I signed the contract to my new job and when I took out a loan for grad school. I know that if people read the fine print more often, they would be less shocked when the terms and conditions came to light.

I had NO IDEA that I was not supposed to not have more than one personal Facebook account. In fact I had 3 at one point for different reasons. As a side note, if I start refriending people on Facebook under a different name, it is because I have decided to adhere to the rules and just use one account instead of 3. Whoops!

I am very active on Instagram, and when the articles came out and let everyone know that their pictures were able to be sold. People spoke out and let them know that they had no desire to allow their photos being sold, and I agree! I follow a lot of healthy people on Instagram, and a lot of their photos end up being taken and used as before and after photos for various products. This is one of the many reasons people were upset, since photos are already being taken and used against the original persons will. While they take the time to report the person, it takes a long time for the photos to be taken down and someone’s reputation can be damaged.

terms-and-conditionsThe question posed this week, was asking how would I make Term’s and Conditions for Facebook.

My initial reaction would be to make the conditions a lot simpler. I mean, I don’t know about you, but since I never read the conditions I know that it is partially because the jargon is so dense and confusing!

Even when I read the terms, and try to understand, I still have no idea. My first step would be to make the conditions easier to understand. I am sure that there is a lot of information that needs to be there, because of different reasons and wanting to cover their own back when it comes to being sued, however I do think that it is tedious and a little verbose.

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For instance, I find it a little weird that the definitions are Article 18 of the Terms and Conditions. If this was really created for ease of understanding, I think that it would be posted as the first Article so that people can understand what is going on and can understand what they are signing up for. Another change I would make is to keep everything in one place. The fact that when going through the Terms and Conditions you constantly have to click out for clarification makes me a little leery. It seems as though Facebook is trying to make it more complicated so that people don’t take the time to actually read all of the Terms and Conditions.

Ethically I think that there are some aspects to Terms and Conditions that have made me rethink skipping over and I hope that will make anyone reading this think again about skipping over them as well. It does seem to me that Facebook is looking to make people confused by not having everything in one place, which makes me trust their intentions less when it comes to what they want to do with my information.