Excuse me, but would you mind if I took a picture of you passed out on the floor and uploaded it to my Facebook party album? Thanks!
We Canadians spend a lot of time on Facebook every month — about seven hours on average, according to a study conducted last year. It’s also estimated that more than half our population uses Facebook and we’re connected to nearly 200 friends on average. With that many friends, it’s no surprise that there’s so much posting and sharing going on. Just how much? Around 100 messages and photos every month. And as it turns out, just about everyone wishes their friends would start asking for permission before uploading.
More than 90% of Facebook users polled by Sophos say it’s common courtesy for people to ask for permission before uploading pictures or videos of others. 10% of those polled went a step further, saying that sharing without permission should be illegal — and about the same number of people said the exact opposite. That’s just the way it is in 2012, they said, and if you don’t like it you should probably just stay home all the time.
It certainly would be nice, particularly in those cases where a particular photo could come back to haunt you down the road — say, when a potential employer stumbles across a less-than-flattering image of you enjoying a wild weekend out with your friends. There are, after all, an awful lot of those kind of pictures floating around on Facebook.
Sure, Facebook could probably do something about this with all their fancy facial recognition and recommendation algorithms. You can at least untag yourself from something a friend shares, but all that does is stop the post from appearing on your own profile. It’s still visible on your friend’s for all to see. Asking if you’d like to remove tags also isn’t the default setting on Facebook — so unless you flip the switch you’ll have to keep tabs on all those uploads manually.
But at the end of the day there are dozens of other photo sites that your share-happy friends could use as Plan B. The reality is that with our mobile gadgets, access to the internet everywhere, and social networking sites have slowly and steadily pushed us towards sharing first and apologizing later, rather than taking a moment to find out if it’s OK before clicking post.
How do you feel when friends post images of you without asking, Sync readers? Let’s hear your take in the comments!