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Watching Headline News Network's coverage of the disappearance of ballerina student Jenni-Lyn Watson, I noticed that all of the pictures of the girl were tagged "Facebook.com." Could that mean that Facebook granted a license to HLN to use the images? Does HLN pay Facebook for passing along the images posted by Facebook users? According to the Facebook Statement of Rights and Responsibilities:

§2.1. 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.

§2.4. When you publish content or information using the "everyone" setting, it means that you are allowing everyone, including people off of Facebook, to access and use that information, and to associate it with you (i.e., your name and profile picture).

Sounds innocuous enough? Here's where Admiral Ackbar tells you in no uncertain terms that you have wandered into a trap! If Facebook wants to make a few bucks by sharing pictures of a missing girl, they have a license to distribute the images because she put the photos on Facebook in the first place. Sure, HLN could have asked the family for photos of the missing girl, but why bother when Facebook makes them so easily available for them. (Modern news outlets have no time for out-dated ideas like research and fact-checking! Let the internet do it!)

Now that Facebook has unveiled their media-spanning email/messenger service to track all of its users' communications, what's to stop Facebook from using that information in order to sell more images provided by those very same users? I'll tell you what: nothing. Nothing at all.

Beware! You may have thought that he was a family friend. But that stranger with candy peeping in your window just may be Facebook.

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To be continued...

 

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