Who owns your Facebook content?
Who owns your Facebook content? On the face of it, the answer to this question seems self-evident. But it's easy to conjure up plausible situations that cast doubt on the ownership and control of what you've posted in Facebook and the information about yourself that you've shared via your profile. For example, can you store your friends' profiles on your computer? Can you reuse your social network (say, to move to a competing service)? Can you sell what you've revealed on Facebook about yourself to the highest bidder or trade it for a toaster oven on Amazon? We have gathered data about the attitudes (and related practices) of 244 Facebook users, and have used it to characterize how they feel about the ownership, control, and persistent value of Facebook content. (This talk describes work I've done in collaboration with Frank Shipman; it is part of a larger project about social media ownership, reuse, and archiving.)
Cathy Marshall is currently an adjunct professor of computer science at Texas A&M University. Until last fall, she was a principal researcher at Microsoft Research, Silicon Valley.