Culture / Economy / Technology

Trust vs Facebook-False Friends or Partners in Life

Over the last months I dealed with one mayor topic. I realised that there is one aspect in life, which we often forget about and put in the background of our everyday life. We make use of it everyday, sometimes for good reason, sometimes we would be better off without it. Can you guess what it is?


It has always been there. Sometimes it is strong, sometimes weak. It exists in relationships. It helps you, you can rely on it, hold onto it. Trust becomes obvious in actions and decision making, especially in times of difficulties and trouble. But sometimes it is a false friend and hits you from behind. This is an experience, which the freelance videographer and Keyones Productions owner Chris Leydon made a few days ago.

One regular morning he went to work and first thing to do, like everyday he went to the facebook page. Not only to connect to his friend and beloved ones and to check on news and updates, but he actually works with it, organising events and his marketing with it. But what happened this day?


Facebook had banned him. He could not log in anymore. Chris contacted Facebook and help from outside but should not never get a respond or reasons for this decision. He was determined to be ‘ineligible to use Facebook’,explanation can not be given due to ‘safety and security reasons’ and the ‘user protection policy’. It took Chris just a few days till he realized how much he had relied and trusted facebook. Not only his photos and messages are lost but also facebook events and phonebook entries have been deleted due to the connection of his cell phone to facebook. This was the moment he realized that he had lived on facebook but had never asked himself the question:

Can I trust Facebook with my social data?

According to the Trust Barometer, an investigation made by the Edelman Research Center in Australia, social networks play a key role in generating trust in a society. It can be argued that Facebook, as the biggest social network service, posseses a key role.

What are the facts about Facebooks’ Terms of Service and The Facebook Privacy Policy?

  1. according to Sect. 2.1. Facebook owns my data
  2. according to Sect. 4.6., 14.: in case I don’t update my data regularly, Facebook has the right to delete my account
  3. public information may be shared by Facebook with its partner websites and used to target ads
  4. all Facebook applications (netflix, spotify, Foursquare) are public
  5. available information, may be accessed by everyone on the Internet (including people not logged into Facebook),
  6. available information is subject to indexing by third party search engines
  7. available information may be imported and exported by us and others without privacy limitation

Not only Dan Yoder, web entrepreneur, technologist and futurist, serves ten reasons why we should not trust facebook with our social and private data, but other experts agree.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) concedes by looking at the transformation of the Privacy Policy over the last ten years. Facebook originally earned their core base of customers by offering simple and powerful control over their account and private settings. Over the time, the company has slowly, but steadily limited the users’ options to control their information. For further reading the foundation published an interesting timeline.

Daniel Burrus, technological Futurist, Keynote Speaker and author applauses by emphasizing the fact that Facebook publishes new policies and services more often than any other social media platform. He interprets this as a form of blacklashing changes. Their implementations are supposed to bring an extra capacity of the policy.

Furthermore, numerous complaints regarding Facebook privacy settings have been published by the Australian Organization Europe versus Facebook. They insist, Facebook is unable to send you a copy of all data hosted on their platform as google does. They ordered a CD with their privacy settings and information. After 40 days they received the disk, unfortunately most important data had been missing.

Another organization, the Ars Technica, emphasizes that photos and data are kept online even after deleting the account.

How does Facebook respond to those accuses?

The fact that photos are kept online and that data had been missing at the disk were reduced to “technical problems”. An interesting statement of the founder and CEO of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg from January says:

 “People have really gotten comfortable not only sharing more information and different kinds, but more openly and with more people. That social norm is just something that has evolved over time.”

What is the current trend concerning trust and Facebook?

Again, Daniel Burrus investigates that the trust on facebook goes down. Emil Protalinski agrees that there is a decrease of trust towards facebook of 70%. Between 2009 and 2011 76  % of the users adjusted their privacy settings. Generally speaking, there is an 43 % increase of concern towards personal privacy.



3 thoughts on “Trust vs Facebook-False Friends or Partners in Life

  1. Hey Caro!

    Interesting Post – I think this is a really current topic and a lot of people seem to forget just how important it is for everyone.
    I like how you started with some talking about trust, what it means in your eyes and then put this in a broader context, using the voice of professionals, data and the Facebook privacy rules, making it easy to read in a professional way. Also, this way one can trust your Post is displaying valued opinions.
    You ended it with a trend – I think this is also a great way to introduce your next Post, on whatever it is, starting with a trend to link these two.
    Although your heading is a catchy one, it might be a bit too long as it does not fit into one line, making it look a little bit unstructured. A shorter heading might be a suggestion.
    I’m curious on what is next!


  2. Hey Carolin,

    I have to admit I LOVE THIS POST!
    It has a great heading, talks about a very current topic which has been discussed by many different people and it is very nicely structured.
    At the beginning I like that you used storytelling and how you connected your post to your previous ones. Then you did not only link your story to your post but also they story of Chris Leydon. very nice!
    After having this nice introduction you get to the point: FACTS ON FACEBOOK!
    You used a lot of different sources and professionals opinions, which might be a little too much in my opinion, but I know you, and you are a very ambitious young woman…so this can be referred to that 🙂

    Very nicely done!
    I could see a great development from your first post to this one!


  3. Dear Caro!
    Thank you for your great post. I have to repeat what the others have already said: Great introduction, great story telling, catching the reader’s attention but quickly coming to the point. Very sophisticated! Also your structure led me through your (long) post. You’ve carefully researched and you explain how facebook deals with personal data in a very professional manner. Your end is also interesting since you introduce a trend, a prospect on the future. If you are interested in doing further research you could maybe compare it to other apps such as instagram which obviously were just accused of selling their user’s photos. Is that a trend? Does every online application will at the end earn money with the material people provide them with (in most cases unawarely?). I guess there is a lot which you can investigate if you want!
    Great subject!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s