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Facebook and the media

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Flash, Oct 30, 2008.

  1. Flash

    Flash Guest

    People post pictures of themselves and their friends on Facebook.

    Because they are accessible in a public forum, is it cool to use those pictures without the permission of the owner?

    Scenario: Student shot in gang-style killing. Friends set up memorial page on Facebook. TV station uses picture posted on the page.
  2. GB-Hack

    GB-Hack Active Member

    Are they seeking permission first, or just grabbing it and using it?

    To me, that would make a big difference.
  3. 93Devil

    93Devil Well-Known Member

    I guess the courts will decide eventually, but you must be approved as a friend of Facebook to see pictures in most cases.

    Some people will set up their pages so that everyone can see their pictures, friends and info. In that case, they should have no expectation of privacy, so it's fair game, IMHO.

    If they make their pics private only to friends, then I think they have an expectation of privacy. So in that case, the pics are off limits.
  4. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    They aren't accessible in a public forum. You have to be granted access.
  5. Flash

    Flash Guest

    You're referring to profile pages. I guess I wasn't clear that this was a group page that was set up. Up until yesterday, it was left to public access with pictures posted.

    So anyone with a Facebook account could do a search for the student's name, arrive at the page, and see the pictures posted.
  6. Flash

    Flash Guest

    As far as I know, no permission was sought.
  7. PeteyPirate

    PeteyPirate Guest

    I say you can use it. It's the digital equivalent of a makeshift memorial by the side of the road.
  8. Moderator1

    Moderator1 Moderator Staff Member

    If you can get it, you can use it. You throw it up there, you are entering into the public domain.
    The media outlet needs to be careful. I think I've told this story before. For all the great work we did on the VT tragedy, my old paper had one massive F up.
    Went to Facebook and pulled a picture of a local kid who died.
    Except it was the wrong kid.
  9. Flash

    Flash Guest

    Ooh ... ouch ...

    The page in question is now closed to public access, at my recommendation.

    This story has been all over the news, thanks to its circumstances. It's made for a very long week for me, with which I'm sure you can empathize.
  10. txsportsscribe

    txsportsscribe Active Member

    why was it your place to recommend they close access?
  11. pantherprowl

    pantherprowl Guest

    Why not just continue the reporting and call the kid who posted it? At the very least, find out who took the picture and make sure it's OK to use it. I would never recommend just yanking something off the Web, even if it is a Facebook group page.
  12. Big Buckin' agate_monkey

    Big Buckin' agate_monkey Active Member

    The TV stations around here would just access the page, then get video of the computer screen with that page on it. Then they'd use a really tight shot and scroll down.
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