I am not on Facebook, but many of my friends are and I fully accept that online social networking is a fully entrenched part of American life. Still, I am very upset that after I hosted a Christmas party this year someone posted photographs of the party and of my home on their Facebook page. At first, I did not understand what was happening when people I had not invited started to ask me about the party, how I knew certain people, or to offer me compliments on my new kitchen—which they had never seen! This seems like such an invasion of my privacy. Is it ethical to snap photos of someone’s private home on your cell phone and post them on a publicly accessible website? Would I be justified to request that guests not take pictures in my house? I am livid about this.
The Guy in the Back Room says: Whether we like it or not, our lives are inevitably being recorded more and more. Some of this is voluntary (posting every trip to the mini-mart on your twitter page) and some of it is involuntary (being recorded on the intersection camera outside on your corner every time you leave the house.) There is a camera in the pocket of every American with a cell phone, how could you assume that you would be immune to the terrifying concept of invasion of privacy? And just think, these are only the pictures you KNOW about. Want a reality check? Check out Spokeo.com, an internet phonebook, and you’ll be shocked to find out that they may have photos of your house, estimates on what it is worth, the number of children you have and their names. Yeah, it is scary, but pictures of a party at your house may be the least of your worries. And for the love of God, don’t commit any crimes because, remember, Google is recording every one of your web-searches and that is probably the first stop for authorities these days.
The Practical Cogitator says: Maybe the Indians were onto something when they insisted that they’d lose their soul if their image was stolen. At least the pictures they posted are present day! I am on Facebook and people are tagging me in photos from elementary school (not so bad), Middle School (horrifying) and High School (tragic). They’ve scanned images from our yearbooks and class photos, even summer camp pics are finding their way online. Privacy as we know it is over. Your history or her-story can and might be posted on any acquaintances’ FB page and that’s all there is to it. Comb your hair, look your best and smile for the camera.
The Tall Dude says: There is not a whole lot you can do, but you can start by asking your friend to remove the photos in question from his or her Facebook page. I would suggest trying not to get too worked up. After all, you’re friends, right? I agree that people are a little too liberal when sharing on social networking sites, and I do not think it’s too much to ask your guests to inquire about taking photos.
Dining Out says: I think you have the right to ask your friends to remove these photos from their Facebook pages. They probably didn’t think twice about broadcasting the interior of your home all over their FB pages but then again, a lot of people have become immune to preserving personal privacy and maintaining social boundaries and they have no problem posting photos of their families, homes, and children (not to mention posting photos of themselves half-dressed, half-baked, and half in the bag).
The Straight Skinny says: My nineteen year old friend says, “It’s not weird at all. People on facebook don’t think about that sort of thing, and neither should you. But you’re welcome to ask them to take it down, understanding that your friends will think you’re weird.”
The Designing Woman says: Are the pictures really of your house or are they of PEOPLE in your house? It sounds to me that someone accidentally got a picture with all your marijuana plants in the background.
Ask Anyone is local advice for locals with problems. Please send your questions for our panel of experts to firstname.lastname@example.org comments powered by Disqus
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