Reflection towards Facebook New Policy of “Legacy Contact Person”

Today (Feb. 12, 2015), Facebook has launched it’s new policy on users’ digital legacy– “legacy contact”. (check details here) In this post, the most excited part is “Facebook will also provide an option to let legacy contacts download a file containing an account’s photos, posts, and other information.”, which is a thing must happen, I am feeling excited that they are doing what I am expecting to happen in my thesis project.

In fact, people were asking me about the fact that what is my plan to get all these data from Facebook in the past few weeks, and the answer I could provide for now is “No, there is no way for me to do that right now. However, the only way for me to test my concept and project is looking for volunteers to contribute their personal data to my project.” Undoubtedly, this is an urgent issue that has to been figured out as soon as possible.

I even has already had the idea how to solve it in a relatively easy way before Facebook has announced this policy: equally accessing. However, this “equally accessing” is not absolutely. The concept behind it that I have to declare here is “co-creator”.

What is co-creator? Well, In my opinion, most content on Facebook was co-created, like shared pics and comments followed, and the comments here are so critical for the meaningfulness building and changing of this pic. In most cases, “copyright” is ambiguous on Facebook,and just because this ambiguity makes what the Facebook is. It is a place that friends share and spread their feelings and having conversation equally, not a place for up-to-down broadcasting. For example, if you had been tagged in a pic by this deceased, if you want, you should have the limited right to access and dispose this pic, either download it or import this data to another place as you want, by saying limited, you definitely are not entitled to delete it from deceased person’s timeline and more right limitations if it’s necessary.

In a nutshell, in terms of the co-create content, every friend who had been involved in building it should have the co-copyright of it. I would like to believe that this step is a good start and Facebook will beef up their efficiency and enthusiasm towards solving this issue, since I always feel like Facebook is kinda reluctant to spend their energy working on it. They are making fortune from data users keep making everyday and it is critical to give this data a respectful end in terms of benefiting people who had created it.