15 Ways to Protest About Facebook’s Content Scraping Strategy

Facebook copyright protest image

So, what's the problem? Facebook's already about-faced, yeah? Your content is safe, huh? ‘Cos the debate about your content in Facebook's hands has been all over the blogoswhatnot, featured on webzines and buried down CNN's running order. It's Digged to death, done ‘n dusted?


If you saw any Facebook exec interviewed about this, the nuance is more about, “er, we'll have to educate our users, like somehow…but we're gonna need another angle.” Like the guy said in Jaws, to catch the big fat fish, “we're gonna need a bigger boat!”

Don't be fooled. They didn't get away with the biggest ever content con this time, but their eyes are still on your pics, vids, muzak and who knows what data, to what purpose. It's a money thing, see.

So this is what you've gotta do…

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15 Ways to Protest About Facebook's Content Scraping Strategy

…Not just this week, but for the foreseeable future, to ensure not only Facebook, but all online content resources, get the message, loud and clear. And because, I don't know about you, but really I don't want to relocate my FB apps, contacts, groups, what-have-you.

1. On your Facebook homepage, in the “What are you doing right now?” dialogue, make a protest statement, else append with “© me”.

2. Change your profile picture with one specifying this content is “© Facebook me”.

3. In the new Terms of Use, there was a new clause about your profile being accurate, or else being crocked. Protest by changing your DOB, say to April Fools' Day. You should do this anyway, to help safeguard against credit card fraud and for online anonymity. Read this key post about anonymity online, with 21 tips. In my case, I remain 106 years young.

Remember: Give 'em an inch, they'll take a mile. First Facebook. Then MySpace, Youtube, Gmail, WordPress, Twitter and on and on and on. They provide the platforms, and should make the ad revenue. The intellectual property, your content, should be yours.

4. Join the group Facebook Bill of Rights and Responsibilities, and post a protest. It needn't be long. Joining is the main thing.

5. Join the group “People Against the new Terms of Service (TOS)”, and post a protest. Ditto above.

6. Join the group “FACEBOOK OWNS YOU: Protest the New Changes to the TOS!”, and post a protest. Ditto 4.

7. Join the group “Those against Facebook's new TOS!” and, guess what, post a protest. Ditto 4.

8. Add a copyright watermark to your images and videos. Then they're next to useless to an image or video library. You can also upload low resolutions, though FB does ‘low-res' them anyway, to 72dpi.

9. Delete stuff. You can always reinstate later, once Facebook gets the message. Delete your photos and albums, your profile photo, your Wall content.

10. Change privacy settings to make content viewable only by you and a select few. You should consider that anyway. Again, read this post about anonymity online.

11. Append a copyright disclaimer to your posts.

12. Add a comment to one of the many articles about this issue, say at Mashable or Consumerist, that broke the relevance of Facebook's new Terms, and Twitter too…”tell tus Twits!”

13. Lodge a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission. You're not American? Facebook is.

14. Complain directly to info@facebook.com, abuse@facebook.com & privacy@facebook.com, and write to Facebook Inc, 156 University Avenue, Palo Alto, CA 94301-1605.

15. Spread the word. Digg this post! And share it on your Facebook page – just click through the SHARE button, below on the right. OK, well, at least…tell some friends!

Here's to OUR content. More importantly, in my opinion, here's to OUR online identities.

Rant over. Tea time 🙂



About the Author:

Olly Connelly (yeah, that's me) blogs at guvnr.com, polices WordPress security at wpCop.com and helps noobs build web servers at vpsBible.com, so if you've got sleeping problems you know where to come.


  1. the_guv  March 23, 2009

    cheers Ray. handy list, Sir.

  2. Ray  March 19, 2009

    Here are some links to various articles regarding Facebook security issues & the web in general:

    ‘Error Check System’ attack hits Facebook

    Facebook hit by new ‘Terms of Service’ scam http://www.pcw.co.uk/vnunet/news/2237454/facebook-hit-terms-service-scam

    Facebook looks to become more transparent http://www.pcw.co.uk/vnunet/news/2236905/facebook-shifts-focus-employees

    Facebook plays down privacy concerns http://www.pcw.co.uk/vnunet/news/2235569/facebook-downplays-privacy

    Facebook users up in arms over new T&Cs

    Lawyers urge Facebook users to remain on guard http://www.pcw.co.uk/vnunet/analysis/2236736/lawyers-argue-facebook-users

    Autorun infections re-emerging in the wild

    BBC programme builds 22,000-strong botnet http://www.pcw.co.uk/vnunet/news/2238434/bbc-builds-22-system-botnet

    Diary of a computer worm

    Malware takes to Google search

    Security experts warn of ‘staggering’ rise in malware http://www.pcw.co.uk/vnunet/news/2238330/malware-volumes-grew-300-per

    Tim Berners-Lee attacks web ‘snooping’ http://www.pcw.co.uk/personal-computer-world/news/2238334/tim-berners-lee-attacks-web

    Victorian echoes of the web snooping debate

    Warnings sounded over Excel attacks

    Web users concerned over data privacy http://www.pcw.co.uk/vnunet/news/2236951/web-users-concerned-privacy


  3. the_guv  February 19, 2009

    cheers Peter J. Facebook Bill of Rights and Responsibilities is back up now.

    Apparently one of my users tried to post up to it, a link of this, and got a “You are blocked from making wall posts message”… mind you, I think they may have been a little over-keen!

  4. Peter J.  February 19, 2009

    You’re right – they can’t take the pressure. nice piece. Bice blog for that matter…

  5. the_guv  February 19, 2009

    UPDATE: The Facebook Bill of Rights and Responsibilities link now takes you to a “Group Unavailable” page.

    Ha! Was it really that successful?

    The other Facebook groups are still there, I see, and the official one may be back up, so keep trying.

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