There's a current scare going around FB that now that it wants to make some actual money, they'll start using profile pics and other things uploaded to facebook in advertisements.

Here is an example of the messages that get sent around:

On Friday, FACEBOOK will start using your photos in ads that will appear on the profile of your contacts. It is legal and was mentioned to you when you open an account. To prevent this do the following: Home -> Account Settings -> Facebook Adverts -> Adverts shown by third parties -> Edit third party advert settings, then choose "No one" in the list and save the changes. Copy this and paste in your profile.

I guess it won't hurt to have this confirmed or debunked here.

  • This is inferring that they will be able to take your facebook photos outside of facebook to market their product. This is not the claim and but why it looks bad.
    – Chad
    May 24, 2012 at 13:09

1 Answer 1


Yes, they do.

From Facebook's privacy page for ads:

Everyone wants to know what their friends like. That's why we pair ads and friends—an easy way to find products and services you're interested in, based on what your friends share and like. Learn more about social ads.

Here are the facts:

Social ads show an advertiser's message alongside actions you have taken, such as liking a Page

  • Your privacy settings apply to social ads
  • We don't sell your information to advertisers
  • Only confirmed friends can see your actions alongside an ad
  • If a photo is used, it is your profile photo and not from your photo albums

You can turn it off in your settings.

  • Bravo on the answer short, concise answer. May 23, 2012 at 6:16
  • Facebook are also currently defending a lawsuit from individuals who have had their images used in this way.
    – Rory Alsop
    May 23, 2012 at 6:49
  • @Rory: Interesting. Got a link?
    – Oddthinking
    May 23, 2012 at 8:01
  • 2
    Facebook accused of 'wanton' use of Canadian woman's pics - theregister.co.uk/2012/04/03/facebook_canada_class_action_suit
    – Tom77
    May 23, 2012 at 8:56
  • 3
    @jwenting probably; at the same time the limits of what a company can get away with putting in the TOS tends to be defined by the courts as much as by legislatures. May 23, 2012 at 13:14

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