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Are Your Photos Safe on Facebook?

To the students of the New York Institute of Photography, this is a message to BEWARE!



I am an instructor at the New York Institute of Photography and like many of us have been on the social network, Facebook. I used it to keep in touch with family and friends, and to display my work for feedback and to keep people abreast of what I have been working on in the past few months.


Two weeks ago, Facebook informed me that I was "disabled" permanently for using a false name. Now some of you may know me as your instructor and others may have listened to the podcasts on the New York Institute's site, I can assure you that my name is Beth Shapiro Green and other than getting married 35 years ago and adding Green that is my name. In fact I own the Web site So there maybe a glitch in their system, but there is no way to contact the Facebook people other than an email begging to be "re-enable".


I have done some research on this and apparently in the latter part of 2010, thousands and thousands of women were targeted for "disabling" (this sounds like words from the book "1984", where the future is bleak and our speech and actions are arbitrarily controlled).


The real danger about all of this is in the notification that by disabling my account they will not return my pictures. Most of my pictures are under copyright protection and have water marks, but not all. This is a very dangerous situation I have been put in, because my art work, the images that I show and sell, are all limited editions and they are sitting on the Facebook server.


So users BEWARE! I would not recommend putting important pictures on Facebook. Instead have it linked to a site you can control. I have no idea how to solve the problem, but I can at least warn my students and colleagues. I'll let you know when and if I am able to resolve the problem.


Beth Shapiro Green

Instructor at the New York Institute of Photography

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