I’ve mentioned a few times to a few people why I chose to post to my blog then cross post to social networks. It boils down to keeping the content I create, however inane under my control.
There is an article about this in the Telegraph which, in part, summarizes the terms and conditions for some of the top sites on the Internet.
What the terms of service say
With over a billion users, Facebook is the definitive homepage for many web users. Its terms of service, data use and cookie use policy span more than 14,000 words over eight separate pages and would take even the quickest reader more than two hours to dig through. But what rights have you handed over to Facebook?
Specifically for photos and video uploaded to the site, Facebook has a license to use your content in any way it sees fit, with a license that goes beyond merely covering the operation of the service in its current form. Facebook can transfer or sub-license its rights over a user’s content to another company or organisation if needed. Facebook’s license does not end upon the deactivation or deletion of a user’s account, content is only released from this license once all other users that have interacted with the content have also broken their ties with it (for example, a photo or video shared or tagged with a group of friends).
Fast becoming the second social network behind Facebook, Twitter’s model for monetising the service has yet to be established, a fact clearly seen in its terms of service. Twitter’s terms give it broad scope to use, change and distribute any photos, writing or video posted through Twitter’s service, to any other forms of media or distribution method it wishes, including those which Twitter has not yet thought of or developed. Similarly to Facebook, Twitter’s license also allows it to pass any of your content to any partner organisations for any reason.
Making only small waves in the field of social networking, Google+ is probably not the place where most users first agreed to Google’s terms of service. Most users probably signed up through one of Google’s many online services like Gmail, Google Maps or Google Drive. Luckily Google has a modest set of terms when it comes to user’s content, restricting its use of such content only for “the limited purpose of operating, promoting, and improving our Services, and to develop new ones.”
The free file storage service that promises to ‘simplify your life’ takes only the smallest liberties with its user’s content and rights. Dropbox limits their use of your data “solely to provide the services… no matter how the services change, we won’t share your content with others…” These permissions do extend to allowing Dropbox to share user’s data with “trusted third parties” but again, only in order to provide their existing services.