Can You Protect Your Image While on Facebook?
Ads on Facebook that inappropriately used members’ profile pictures set off a mini-firestorm online this week –- and got lots of people talking about how to avoid unwittingly becoming a shill for products on Facebook.
Attention on the issue was brought about with an outraged post on AOL’s Download Squad blog about a man who, while using a third-party app, saw an ad for a dating site that, to his surprise, was dressed up with his wife’s picture. No, she wasn’t looking for a lover. Her picture had been usurped by an ad network in the employ of a third-party application developer, which she believes was a quiz app.
Later that day, the blogger acknowledged that the incident was similar to a problem Facebook has been dealing with for some time. It takes down offending ads and has even kicked two ad networks off its site. Facebook says it prohibits ads within apps that cause a bad user experience, are misleading or otherwise violate its policies. And it requires developers to get permission from any users before using their photo in an ad.
Facebook has a program for advertisers called Social Ads, under which it may show ads to your friends with your picture included if you have associated yourself with the advertiser by, say, becoming a fan of its Facebook page.
You can choose not to become an endorser of these products or companies by making tweaks to your privacy settings. Hover your mouse over “Settings” and choose “Privacy Settings,” then “News Feed and Wall.” Then click “Facebook Ads” tab, which will take you to a setting for “Appearance in Facebook Ads” where you can select “No one.”
So what’s the upside of using Facebook?