Why is Facebook whoring me out?

Summary:I've been pondering this note, sent to me by a friend on Facebook last week:Facebook needs to recode their ads... It's one thing when the ad for singles waiting for me is accompanied by a picture of my lovely wife...

I've been pondering this note, sent to me by a friend on Facebook last week:

Facebook needs to recode their ads... It's one thing when the ad for singles waiting for me is accompanied by a picture of my lovely wife... Its another when the pic is Mitch Ratcliffe!!!

I am married. Facebook knows I am married, because it is in my profile. Yet, the company feels free to use my picture to promote singles ads under the headline "Local singles are waiting for you." I confirmed that this was the situation with my Facebook friend—you can see the thread here.

Moreover, I have never given any company my permission to use my image in advertising. Someone owes me money.

Finally, I don't think my wife, her friends, my family or anyone who knows me would be pleased to see that I am apparently trolling for dates on Facebook. The numbskull at Facebook who thought of using member photos in this way should learn that "transparency" in our lives does not make our life story malleable and changeable by commercial interests. In a way, this is a libel (a written slander), since it associates my name and image with a perceived act of adultery.

Facebook, if you are listening: Stop using member photos for any commercial purpose they do not explicitly endorse. If I see or hear of this use of my image again, I'll be thinking about calling a lawyer.

The abuse of personal data is only beginning. Companies that offer everything for "free" are extracting a huge price from each of us in the form of information, images and private records that they intend to "monetize." It is time to stop letting these companies see how far they can get before someone gets angry.

Topics: Social Enterprise

About

Mitch Ratcliffe is a veteran journalist, media executive and entrepreneur. He was editor of the ground-breaking Digital Media newsletter in the 1990s and a frequent contributor to ZDNet over the years. He led development of the first Web audio/video news network at ON24, sat on the board of Electric Classifieds Inc. and Match.com, and wor... Full Bio

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