You Can’t “Take Back” Your Facebook Rights

If you were on Facebook yesterday and have a medium to large number of friends on there, you probably saw the paragraph below posted by someone. You might even have posted it yourself.


As I responded to one of my friends who posted it, Facebook doesn’t work that way.

When you, or a family member signed up for Facebook, you agreed to their Terms of Service. Of course you didn’t read it, but that’s the contract between you and Facebook. There is no getting out of it, or changing it now. It doesn’t matter they they’re a public company. Once you post something publicly – pictures, video or other information – they can use is exactly as specified in the Terms of Service, which is naturally very broad and protects Facebook, not the user. For example:

“For content that is covered by intellectual property rights, like photos and videos (IP content), you specifically give us the following permission, subject to your privacy and application settings: you grant us a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use any IP content that you post on or in connection with Facebook (IP License). This IP License ends when you delete your IP content or your account unless your content has been shared with others, and they have not deleted it.”

Here’s what you can do:

  • Control your privacy settings, so that not everything you post is public
  • Post minimal or no personal information or photos
  • Ask your friends nicely not to post anything about you or your family, or share anything that you post
  • Delete your account

That’s pretty much it. Facebook wrote the rules, and you agreed to them. Posting publicly that you are changing the rules doesn’t change them, unless Facebook agrees to the changes. Good luck with that.

That’s all folks.


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