Thoughts on social media privacy and legal issues

Facebook is one of the largest social networks. If not the largest, sure the one that has caused a lot of discussion on privacy in the web space. Its use for commercial purposes is something that I am not sure how much it was planned from its start. Surely the commercial use, its use by businesses for their day to day communication with their audiences, is a detail causing scepticism by the networks community.

Robert Scoble’s post, brought back to my memory the discussion I had with Alexander van Elsas some months ago. Facebook provides several services besidesthe networking part on personal basis. Using a service it based on trust. A detail that seems to be forgotten sometimes. We often forget as users that Facebook is a company, with all the problems a company might have. Which does not mean that we have to show understanding for a bad service but an understanding that human beings are behind the social network, called Facebook. Communication problems are something Facebook has to fix. But not only Facebook alone.

The Social Media Revolution we are talking shows that businesses have to focus more on the quality of their products and services rather than advertising them whether they provide value or not. Communication is not only a process between a company and its audiences but also a process inside a company. It is connected to re-organizing a business and emphasizing on collaboration between several parts, departments, members of a organization.

We face problems on basic customer service, as Benson Hendrix comments on Scoble’s post.

That technology makes process does not mean at all that the society is ready to absorb and to apply.

According to Read Write Web, Facebook will announce some of the changes its team is working on.

 “I know we’ve made a bunch of mistakes, but my hope at the end of this is that the service ends up in a better place and that people understand that our intentions are in the right place and we respond to the feedback from the people we serve.”

Facebook faces anything any other company could face. It is a challenge to see if the company will do what the social web stands for – listening and improving. Any company should go through this process in order to provide value to its product and services. My concerns are about the legal, if you want so, protection of users if their privacy is violated, how much companies that use social networks commercially are aware about its seriousness (beside the fun part)? Do they know that a creative commons license does not mean “not giving credit”? Do they know that violating the copyright, no matter what I think about it personally, might happen even if they just post a YouTube Music video on their Facebook Fan Page Wall of their company?

Do not take me wrong. But I think it is not only Facebook facing these issues but other companies as well. 

Read also: Back down on privacy- The Globe and Mail

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