Hey Facebook, Fix Your Takedown Notice Practices!

    May 6, 2011

It seems like Facebook can’t catch a break lately. Between legal issues from accused spammer David Fagin and minor Justin Nastro, the search network is also catching a bit of flack after it took down pages of some popular tech sites. Ars Technica and Redmond Pie were among the Facebook pages taken down based on copyright infringement claims.

Should Facebook have taken down these pages?  Tell us what you think.

In Facebook’s defense, it is required under the DMCA to respond to copyright infringement notices. However, users are speaking out and saying that it could do more to make its process accurate and effective. Security research firm Sophos has criticized Facebook on privacy before but is also saying it needs to verify both the accuser and the accused before it takes action.

“It seems like the existing system is almost welcoming abusive people that want to take out revenge on a page that they don’t like,” said Chester Wisniewski, Sr. Security Advisor at Sophos.

Facebook has established itself as an important source of traffic that businesses have come to rely on. As a result, a sudden takedown could have a very negative impact on their brand.

“Facebook needs to remember that they’re not exactly a court of law here, so you should have the right to know who’s making accusations against you, if it might result in disrupting your business,” he said.

Facebook, as Wisniewski pointed out, is interesting because its users are not its customers. Instead, its customers are the businesses and advertisers that provide actual financial support for the company. As a result, the users don’t, typically, have much of an impact on Facebook when they create groups that make demands at the company.

“If Facebook wants to maintain the number of users interacting with its company, generating this revenue for themselves, they really need to look at how they can better protect these businesses against these types of attacks no one wants to bet their business against these types of attacks,” Wisniewski added.

In other words, he is saying that businesses and advertisers need to voice these concerns to let Facebook know that their financial resources want better policies in regards to taking down pages.

Do you think this will get Facebook’s attention?