Drunk with Success, Social Media Is Beginning to Overstep

Social media is a valid, powerful, growing advertising vehicle for auto dealers. But have you noticed that some of the social media vehicles are starting to think they can speak for you? First, Facebook decided that everyone needed a Timeline, and if you didn’t build one yourself, they decided to build one for you. They decided what pictures and messages should go on your Timeline and if you don’t monitor it you might find they have placed twenty pictures of you on your Timeline making it look like you really like to see your own picture.


Then, in the news feed on Facebook when a friend of yours offered a story for people to read, in order to read it, you had to agree to allow the source of the story to place message on your behalf on your friend’s news feed. If you read a gossipy story, that story site let all your friends know that you had read the gossip. Thanks a lot!

Now Facebook has ventured into “sponsored stories” where they can use your face and info to promote on their site without your permission. Imagine if you decided to use Disney characters in your own advertising without Disney’s permission. Disney legal team would sue you to death and rightly so, it’s their property you are using.

What if you were driving down the road in your town and looked up and saw a billboard with your face on it for a clinic that treated STDs. Or you saw your daughter’s face in an ad in the newspaper advertising a sex shop. Facebook is way out of line using their subscribers’ info without permission.

This is nasty and they have received a class-action suit because of it. The judge in the case just threw out a verdict in which the settlement of ten million dollars would be donated to advocacy groups and law schools. The attorneys who settled for this paltry sum get ten million dollars too. The Facebook users who were featured without their permission get nothing…zilch. The judge didn’t think that was quite right, so he threw out the verdict and had them start over. Read about it Here

It seems that some social media vehicles have decided they should be able to speak for you, use your name, info and likeness whenever they want, and you should just lay there and take it.

Here’s an idea: If everyone used their social media vehicles to tell that same vehicle that we do value our privacy and we don’t want them speaking for us, they might notice the storm of ugly controversy and rethink their priorities. I, for one, do not want Facebook or anyone else placing articles or photos or anything on my behalf.

What do you think?


Brett Stevenson


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