The Instigator
Pro (for)
0 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
4 Points

Is using social media for marketing an invasion of privacy

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/17/2012 Category: Politics
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 12,551 times Debate No: 21221
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (3)
Votes (1)




Pro- it is not
Con- it is

Pro goes
Con goes
Pro rebuttal
Con rebuttal


Thanks Pro for this debate. I await your argument, before offering mine.
Debate Round No. 1


As marketers looks for new ways to obtain information to gain potential and new customer, a question arise and it is being debated heavily. I don't believe that using social media for marketing is an invasion of privacy.

Giving up privacy

When you sign on with a social media, you are ask to agree a term and use statement. When you agree to it, you give up your privacy for anything you put or said on that website. For an example, Facebook's privacy policy stated, "We use the information we receive about you in connection with the services and features we provide to you and other users like your friends, the advertisers that purchase ads on the site, and the developers that build the games, applications, and websites you use." Also, the policy gives examples of what your information might be use for. By agreeing to those, you give up your right to Facebook in term of privacy. It also stated that your information is public as long as you keep it public. So if you don't want anyone to see what you are saying, doing or whatever the case might be, change your privacy setting.

Publishing yourself

The internet is a public library we, as society as a whole, created to ease our life. Whenever something is being added to the internet, it is public to the entire world. This ties back to my first point of giving up privacy. Once we create a account in any social media, we become a virtual book with our names as title. The virtual book contains everything that we have done and post on the internet. The internet also has our concises when we post anything on the internet so it is not an invasion of privacy.


Social media and internet is a public place where everyone is allow to view other people's interest and ideas. Using it is not an invasion of privacy, and if anyone is fear of losing privacy over something, then change the privacy setting on social media or not even putting it on the web in the first place.



Pro's argument can be summed up as follows: 1) the internet is a "public place," 2) we accept its terms by using it, 3) social media provide contracts that we agree to, 4) which (according to Pro) give up our rights to privacy, 5) or we have the "option" of changing our privacy setting to settings that protect our privacy, 6) and therefore, our privacy is not violated. Furthermore, Pro's argument focuses almost entirely on Facebook, although the arguments could be extended to social media generally.

Of course, I think Pro's argument provides a terribly simplistic view of social media and privacy concerns, and completely misses most of the legal issues at stake. My overarching argument will focus on a discussion of contracts law and privacy. Offline social interactions leave no trace, enabling social privacy, but online a trace is always left in stored data. So social media and their users are forced to agree to explicit policies and contracts. Without surprise, then, most legal complaints filed against Facebook have focused centrally on privacy vis-à-vis contract law. Before continuing down that path, let me quickly refute Pro's (1) above.

Pro's case

First off, Pro personifies the "internet" as if it were a person that could get our consensus (or Pro's word, "concises"), which is ridiculous. The internet itslef cannot agree to a contract. The internet is a neutral medium designed for storing and distributing information across a network. What this means is that the internet is a background context, completely neutral and impartial, in which humans can access and distribute information.

When we use the internet, stored information is not inherently "public." Much of the internet is private, and that is why internet security from viruses, spyware, hackers, identity theft, and so on, has become such an important thing. No privacy contract is made when we use the internet, and Pro is absolutely in error on this point.

Contracts Law

Let me go over the basics. In any contract there are express terms and implied terms. Express terms are explicitly stated by the two parties, whereas implied terms are unstated terms that nonetheless form a provision of the contract. The contract is void when one of the parties has not agreed to the implied terms. The reason it becomes void is because the parties never agreed to all the terms, and the contract is considered incomplete and void. [1]

This is why there are so many divorce cases in which pre-nuptial agreements are proven void. Skilled lawyers use the ambiguity of the contract to reveal implied terms agreed to by one party but not agreed to by the other. So the pre-nup is void. One last point about contracts: minors under the age of 18 cannot enter into legal contracts without permission of their legal guardian. [1]

In the case of Facebook (I use FB because Pro uses FB), the question is obvious: whether FB or its users have actually agreed to the implied terms in the privacy policy or not. If either of the two has not agreed, the entire privacy policy is void. It then becomes obvious that FB has violated the privacy (social and personal) of its users.

The Contract: Facebook's "Statement"

I will use the rest of my space to explain how FB violates their contract with users, why users violate their contract with FB, and therefore, why privacy is in fact invaded by using Facebook (and social media generally).

This is what we agree to when using Facebook: "You own all of the content and information you post on Facebook, and you can control how it is shared through your privacy and application settings." [2] Elsewhere, Facebook CEO stated: "Our philosophy is that people own their information and control who they share it with." [3] What is clear is that Facebook users do not give up all their rights to privacy, but only that which is shared, and users are given the right to "control how [their information] is shared."

The agreement also states, "When you delete IP content, it is deleted in a manner similar to emptying the recycle bin on a computer." It continues, "understand that removed content may persist in backup copies for a reasonable period of time (but will not be available to others)." [2] The key words here, "reasonable period of time," are subsequently defined as "90 days."

Finally, the agreement does not give FB the right to track track users activites, whether they are logged-on or off. FB also says no one under 13 is allowed to use their service, and nothing about minors under the age of 18 requiring the permission of guardians.
And now, after that lengthy introduction, we can get to the good stuff, the invasion of privacy.

Facebook violating their own terms?

1) FB keeps and stores all information they receive from users, including IP (intellectual property) that is subsequently deleted by users, for years. Photos deleted by users that should have been deleted by Facebook 90 days later are kept and and shared (with marketers) even 3 years later. [4]

2) FB compiles tracking data for members signed-in, logged-off, and even for non-members. FB inserts a "browser cookie" and "session cookie" for members, and "browser cookie" for non-members. The browser cookie collects the date, time, and web addresses of any sites you click to, even while logged-off. The unique characeristics of your PC, like IP address, screen resolution, operating system, are also recorded. FB thus compiles a running log of all your webpage visits for 90 days. The "session cookie" works while logged-on, tying all this data to your FB profile and e-mail. [5]

3) FB sends the usernames or ID numbers tied to personal profiles when users click on ads to advertising companies, giving advertisers access to the public profiles of who is clicking on their ads. Yet FB explicitly tells users in the terms of service that such information would not be given to advertisers.

4) In (1), (2), and (3) above, FB explicitly violates the terms of service. And in (2), FB violates privacy even of non-members, whose information is collected and shared with marketers. FB states we have control over how our information is shared, but this is blatantly false. With good reason, many lawsuits are currently underway to stop and end FB's shameless invasion of our privacy. We conclude that these implied terms in the contract would not be agreed to by many users (hence the lawsuits), and therefore, the contract is void. FB has invadeds users' privacy.

Users violating the terms?

1) More than 40% of minors using FB are under the age of 13, thereby voiding any contract. The problem is obvious, when we consider that FB still collects information on these minors, and shares it with advertisers. Obvous violation of privacy. [7]

2) FB has 20 milion users under the age of 18, and it is without doubt that many of them have profiles without the consent of parents. Minors cannot agree to contracts, so the privacy policy is immediately void. This means that any information collected of minors by FB is an invasion of privacy, especially since parents have not consented.


My personal opinion, FB's tracking cookies are a huge risk to privacy, as they collect obviously private information (the websites you browse) without the agreement of users. Above all else, to me that is a clear violation of privacy, especially since it occurs not only for members (who agreed to the terms of service) but for non-members, people who implicitly reject the terms of service.

This much is clear: both FB and its users breach the terms of service, which serve as a legal contract in the use of FB. In violating these terms, the contract is made void. When this happens, FB is put in the position of invading the privacy of its users, especially that of minors. The many lawsuits against FB are further evidence.

Debate Round No. 2


12tafran forfeited this round.


My opponent forfeited. Vote Con. Thanks.
Debate Round No. 3
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by FourTrouble 6 years ago
So annoying to have opponents keep forfeiting...
Posted by 12tafran 6 years ago
Hey I might be posting late i have four different debates im doing but ill def. debate on this haha
Posted by baggins 6 years ago
Nice topic. However I am way too busy right now... Regretfully I will have to decline.

Maybe you should try throwing an open challenge?
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Xerge 6 years ago
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Forfeit....