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Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Changes to Facebook contract don't deter students

Facebook made a quiet change in its user contract on Feb. 4, but most UF students are not concerned or informed enough to change their posting habits.

Under the new terms, Facebook can now use account content after an account has been deactivated.

Facebook's Chief Executive and founder Mark Zuckerberg wrote in a post to The Facebook Blog that after deleting an account, content shared with friends will remain accessible through the friends' pages, just like in an e-mail, which creates two copies of the message once the message is sent. Zuckerberg promised that content would not be used in a way undesirable to users.

Instead of sending a mass notification to users, Facebook made an unannounced four-paragraph post to the company blog.

The terms have long spelled out the right for Facebook to use posted information and pictures for advertising.

Jon Mills, a UF law professor and author of the 2008 book "Privacy: The Lost Right," said Facebook shouldn't be allowed to use someone's picture, identity or information for profit, and students should protest the fact that Facebook claims rights to do these things.

"I think it really confirms what has sort of been happening on Facebook, which is that they can use that information, and people tend to forget how public and accessible their information becomes," Mills said.

As Facebook takes more control over information on its pages, UF students must decide how much to expose.

Students Leah Oliveto, Curtis Jeffries and Irina Silva expressed mild disgust with Facebook, although they said they will continue to use it as they have in the past.

"It was concerning, but I already think that anything they put on the Internet they already own," said Oliveto, a UF marketing senior.

She said since she probably won't become the president of the United States, she isn't worried about Facebook using her drunken college pictures.

Silva, a UF biology freshman, thinks there is a reason people delete accounts.

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"I think Facebook should actually respect our wishes in why we decide to deactivate the account," she said.

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