This rumor about Facebook using your photos in ads without your consent is spreading again. The rumor was not true earlier (back in 2009) and it is not true now.
Many Facebook users are saying in a status message that’s being passed and worried that Facebook plans to use their photos in Facebook ads, and they’re telling everyone to change privacy settings to prevent it.
Here is what the message says:
On Friday, Facebook will start using your photos in ads that appear on the profile page of your friends. It’s legal and mentioned in the fine print when you create your account. To STOP this do the following: got to Account, Account Settings, click on Facebook Ads, choose "No one" in BOTH drop-down menus (scroll down for 2nd) and save changes for EACH drop-down. Please copy this and use in a status update.
Let me start off by saying this rumor is FALSE. Facebook has also confirmed it is false. It was initially started back in July 2009, and has more recently shot up again.
In my opinion, anything that says “Pass Along” or “Forward” to some XXX number of people kind of lines should be considered suspicious. This is a favorite tactic of hoax initiators. And the instructions to follow above will not hurt if you were to follow them but don’t blindly make adjustments to any account setting or computer.
Lets get into the real account settings related to Facebook Ads that mentioned in it – Facebook’s advertising guidelines specifically prohibit using your face in ads. Item 7B in the guidelines says, "Unless authorized by us, your ads may not display user data — such as users’ names or profile photos — whether that data was obtained from Facebook or otherwise."
The hoax message also says to change the account setting option to choose “No one” in the drop down menu.
These settings actually exist, but they let you opt out of having your Facebook actions used in social ads. This has nothing to do with Facebook using your photo or not. It just means that you can decide whether companies you’ve "liked" on Facebook can show those likes in an ad. These settings have existed since last year.
So, don’t be alarmed by this status message that’s going around, and don’t bother passing it on and it’s kind of like the time everyone was saying “Facebook planned to shut down on March 15”.