Madison - St. Clair Record

Sunday, March 29, 2020

‘Look at me! Look at me! Why are you looking at me?’

Our View

By The Madison County Record | Feb 12, 2020

It must be difficult to be a shy exhibitionist, or an ostentatious introvert. You go to all that trouble to draw attention to yourself and then feel uncomfortable or offended when you succeed. 

Though it’s generally a much tamer forum, Facebook is something like a strip joint where people let it all hang out – as evidenced by some of the risqué, if not outright raunchy photos that show up on users’ timelines, or even as profile pix.

It is what it is. Love it or hate it, Facebook is a social media forum that provides an arguably valuable service completely free of charge. Sure, FB monetizes the medium by mining the data users upload and offering advertisers access to potential customers, but nobody’s compelled to maintain a presence there, and dissatisfied users of this free service can close their accounts at any time and delete everything they’ve uploaded.

Or, they can join class action suits and try to shake down the company by pretending they were victimized by a service they took advantage of for free for months or years on end.

Taking advantage of the Illinois biometrics privacy law. Some of our fellow citizens joined a class action suit against Facebook, claiming the forum’s photo tagging system violated their privacy rights because it did not obtain permission from them in advance for performing the free service.

Facebook has agreed to pay $550 million to make them go away, which translates to about $200 per class member – and who knows how much for the lawyers involved.

Here’s the thing: No one is compelled to be on Facebook, and it doesn’t cost anything. Those who choose to be there can set a variety of parameters for who can and can’t view their posts, and they can set their own standards for the tagging of photos.

Anybody who doesn’t like it can just log off. 

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