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Facebook and images

I just discovered a sort of uncomfortable issue about images from Facebook. A student came to my office today, unable to get an image to display on her Web page. Also distrubing is that - for no reason I could identify in the HTML or CSS code - my browswer told me it was blocking an ActiveX control. We tried everything, and it should have worked. Then I got suspicious and made a screenshot of the image. That one showed up just fine.

Turns out that if you save an image from Facebook, you might end up also saving ActiveX controls which prevent that image from appearing anywhere but on Facebook. I find that more than a little irritating. I mean, who owns that image: you or Facebook?



( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 10th, 2009 09:12 pm (UTC)
WELL, that explains a couple of things!
Nov. 10th, 2009 09:18 pm (UTC)
My understanding, in fact, is that Facebook claims ownership of all images posted to its site. That's why I never post a photograph I care about to Facebook, and always link to pictures posted on flickr or LJ.

This based on statements of people I trust, not actual research on my part.
(Deleted comment)
Nov. 11th, 2009 01:27 am (UTC)
Actually, I mean that the images themselves download with some kind of wacky stuff attached to the image. I don't have advanced image-editing software, so I can't remove it; however, the fact that the image displays again after screenshotting it reveals their perhaps-malicious, perhaps-privacy-attempting behavior.

I doubt it's because of privacy, though, because I can view photos that are tagged with people I know even when I can't see the photo-owner's profile.
Nov. 11th, 2009 02:56 am (UTC)
That's quite bizarre. I've certainly saved Facebook images to my hard drive with no problem, and they open fine in my photo editing program, although I've never tried then displaying the file in a browser.

If it is indeed a misguided effort at copy protection, then sheeeeeeeesh. That kind of thing always bugs me. It doesn't stop anyone with an ounce of determination or technical skill (as the screenshot method proves!), but it inconveniences those of us who just want to save the images that our friends chose to share with us.
Nov. 11th, 2009 04:07 am (UTC)
Yeah, it's like disabling right-clicks. That always makes me open the page in an editor and mess with, just because.

You can save files locally and edit them; you just can't seem to then use them as pics in a new web page. Or at least that's what this student discovered.
Nov. 11th, 2009 03:01 am (UTC)
i've never heard of this.
that is terrible!
Nov. 11th, 2009 04:48 am (UTC)
Facebook owns the image if you read the fine print. It's one of the things I don't like about Facebook. It's a walled garden. Data goes in, but it won't come out.
Nov. 11th, 2009 09:18 pm (UTC)
Have not experienced this. Have saved and distributed images from Facebook. I mean, the Facebook images aren't even saved on Facebook. They're stored on image farms. One side effect of this is that there is zero image security on Facebook. Right click an image, copy link to image, distribute to anyone.

The ActiveX issue sounds like a separate issue pertaining to the computer itself. Some sort of malware?
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )

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