NO TAGS without permission
NO TAGS without permission
Facebook wants to be your shrink: How Does That Make You Feel?

In its eight years of existence, Facebook has included and removed many features with the alleged goal of facilitating communication and interaction among its users. Some of these tools, such as photo tagging, have caused (and still do) problems that so far have not been addressed properly. Facebook only intervenes when the content posted by its users violates their rules: the images reported for personal reasons can be removed only by those who publish them.

Facebook wants to be your psychologist now, and it will charge you the same way it has always done: with your privacy. From now on, Facebook will offload all responsibility for conflict resolution (e.g. cyberbullying cases) in its users, recommending  them what action to take after filling out a questionnaire designed to measure how does the offensive content make you feel.

This feature is only available to those children who are 13 or 14 years old. It tries to determine the seriousness of the offense prompting the user to answer a series of questions that even literally ask them how they feel about the offending content. Based on the answers, Facebook will recommend what action should be taken, but it does not add any new measures to eliminate or at least block offensive content, not even temporarily.

Disguised as a way to recommend the best actions to take, Facebook further opens the Pandora’s Box of our private lives to even inquire about what until now we only had told to our closest friends and in some cases only to our psychotherapist. If Facebook knows our greatest weaknesses, it will also know how to do their job better, i.e offer advertising and paid content to its users. Will they try to sell us depression pills when we are feeling blue?

The survey has been a success so far: 78% of users who want to remove undesired tags do complete it. At the moment, it is only available in the United States; FriendlyScreens will keep an eye to the pros and cons of this system, as we don’t think Facebook should act as your shrink without following an en ethical code.


Something you might be interested in:

  • Video: Do you really have a private life online?

  • A campaign to avoid being tagged without permission on social networks: #NOTAGSwithoutpermission
  • Video that shows how tags can be used to cyberbully:

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