Facebook replied to the ‘rumors’ circulating about the misuse of names and Facebook Replies to Ad Photo Rumorsphotos within ads and clarified that the misuse of such photos occurred “were not from Facebook but placed within applications by third parties.”
What does this mean?
It means that this rumor is in fact truth – there was, in fact, a misuse of personal photos in third-party ads; it just wasn’t directly by Facebook themselves – it was an advertiser within a third-party application. So following the steps I provided in my original post to opt-out of third-party ads on Facebook is definitely still a good idea.
It also means that since all this occurs on and from within Facebook, Facebook still has some liability to control what is and is not done on Facebook. They have a terms of service that not only users have to abide by, but a terms of service that advertisers have to abide by as well.
As I posted before regarding Facebook Terms of Service, who is monitoring the connections between personal profile settings and advertisers knowing what those are? If we’re allowed to opt-out, then Facebook needs to ensure that we are out of third-party ads if we want out.
Check Your Profile Settings
I think for now, we need to be aware and mindful of what applications we choose to use and what we’re clicking and what we’re not. Read everything carefully – that’s the first step in being a responsible user of Facebook.
I also suggest that you periodically check your profile settings area for any new areas or tabs that may provide you with not only new features, but also additional important information (like how to opt-out of something).
For now, Facebook seems to have booted out the offending advertisers and has things under control; but this issue did bring to light the possibility for abuse within their advertising system.
So consider this a warning, or call it a heads-up to pay attention to what you’re doing while you’re clicking things within Facebook, but also if you happen to notice something amiss (like your photo in an ad that you didn’t authorize!) so you can report it to Facebook.
Did you choose to opt-out of the third-party ads on Facebook?
Do you think this whole thing was blown out of proportion?