A cancer deep within our society.
The website of the Real Facebook Oversight Board (RFOB), a critical advocacy group set up as a riposte to the social network's inaction on that front, has been taken down because its hosting company believes it's a phishing operation. It was not immediately clear how that determination was made, but a Facebook spokesperson …
People need to start taking these companies to small claims court - no lawyers allowed. Sue them for just under $10 000. Get paid and nickle and dime them to death. A constant stream of these cases might focus some much needed attention on the situation. Even a lion notices a thorn in its foot.
I bet he sings 'I rule the world' (note the missing 'when') in the shower every day.
We just need to make sure that there is a revolution that deposes him ASAP
The question is... will his criticism censorship 'bot' force the take down my El Reg account?
If that happens then he really does rule the world.
Sadly there is no requirement to prove anything you say when you run a takedown scam. If I remember rightly, the documentation for this process is much the same as sworn evidence so if their statements are false then this would be at contempt of court or similar which is a criminal offence.
Any lawyers out there want to make a name for themselves?
Domain Name: FACEBOOK.COM
Registrar: RegistrarSafe, LLC
Registrar IANA ID: 3237
Registrar Abuse Contact Email: email@example.com
Registrar Abuse Contact Phone: +1-650-308-7004
Not one I'd ever heard of, so I decided to just visit them:
Mailing address: RegistrarSEC, LLC / RegistrarSafe, LLC
1601 Willow Road
Menlo Park, CA 94025
Phone: +1 650 308 7004
Fax: +1 650 472 9224
Primary Contact: Denise Michel
Officers: David Kling – CEO, President and Secretary; Susan Taylor – Vice President and Treasurer; Michael Johnson – Assistant Secretary
Member: Facebook, Inc.
You can't even buy domains through this registrar. Why they felt the need to create a subsidiary to do this is beyond me.
It wasn't particularly sensible to use the name 'The Real Facebook Oversight Board'. While I can sympathise with the intent, it is rather difficult to defend yourself against an assertion of 'passing off'.
On the other hand we could do with a convention that allowed people to use trademarked names for commentary and criticism and made it explicit to readers (both human and automated) that it is not phishing/fraudulently misrepresenting themselves as the organisation being commented on. E.g prefix the name with the character !, or ¬ (U+00AC NOT SIGN = angled dash in typography). Unfortunately, the rules about which characters are acceptable in domain names precludes this, and even resorting to Internationalized Domain Names and punycode doesn't resolve it. We might have to extend the hegemony of the English language and simply say that prefixing trademarks with 'not-' provides sufficient warning that it is not a phishing site.
The Barbra Streisand effect.
Besides, there is already a legal recourse - the doctrine of Fair Use. Somebody needs to take FecesBook to court to allow commentary domains to use the trademark they are commenting on (the EFF, maybe?).
Didn't Face Book start by illegally collecting university student's face photographs so that FB users could vote on their attractiveness... "violating privacy" says Wikipedia.
So I don't want to go anywhere near an "Arse Book" (while anybody's watching).
I actually incline to objecting to the word "Real", implying "The one and only actual oversight board". They may believe that too, but it's an opinion, and there is - or may one day be - an actual Facebook Board of Oversights run by the company.
If they said "Independent" in place of "Real", I'd approve. The Facebook Facebook Overboard Site clearly can't ever be independent, and probably isn't meant to be.
If the word "Facebook" actually is the cause, it can be argued as fair use, but as I said, "real" and "Facebook" is poor construction if you're not the real Facebook.
I suggest for their use Foocebake if that isn't already taken. But it appears that some of the 7.8 billion potential Internet users have indeed found uses for it. References to non-alcoholic intoxication abound.
"It wasn't particularly sensible to use the name 'The Real Facebook Oversight Board'. While I can sympathise with the intent, it is rather difficult to defend yourself against an assertion of 'passing off'."
AIUI, this kind of parodic / protest use is already *specifically* allowed and protected under the relevant laws.
For most of the article, it sounded like another example of a bot overstepping its mark.
Right up to the the breathtaking arrogance of the Facebook tweet in response. From a communications manager?
I seriously hope he's just torpedoed his future career anywhere - that's the level of playground smugness and thinking you're clever that's become the norm for certain politicians. But for a supposedly professional business it's just puerile.
Facebook really is a cancer on society. How soon did they say they're pulling out of Europe?
Instead of using a host that is susceptible to blocking, parking or outright shutting down their site, they should just host it themselves.
That way, they might receive a takedown notice, but they can ignore it until some human comes and starts shrieking at them that they've gotten dozens of takedown notices and they'll be sued if they don't take it down, at which point they can answer : "See you in court". At that point, somebody with a brain is going to have to start analyzing the actual website to build his case for the judge, at which point he's going to have to realize that they don't have a case.
And that's when they go away quietly, while the site stays up.
Of course, to host a site oneself, one must pay a bit of money and do a bit more work than just designing some web pages, but hey, if you're intent on getting the word out, then it should be worth it.
It's bad because Facebook doesn't control the string "facebook". It's worse because I think we all know the bot excuse is just to deflect blame. No actual business has to put "thereal" in their domain to prove who they are; it's clearly to express that the Facebook-named board isn't, in the opinion of the people with the site, doing any oversight.
The name of your site is not the problem. What you do on that site is the problem. If you run a phishing site for Halifax online banking, it doesn't matter if you call it genuine-halifax-online-banking-biz or iwilltakeallyourmoney.gq; what you are doing with it is illegal, so your site will be taken down for that reason. Trademark complaints are different, but that would only be relevant if the people running the site tried to create an otherwise legal enterprise under false pretenses. Not only did they not do that, but Facebook doesn't even allege that they did.
...you have enough of a following to get the register to do an article about it and to be able to create a social medium storm on Twitter to make people aware.
My YouTube channel is tiny, not even 1k subs but a shady parking fines company here in the UK flagged a year old video of mine for a copyright strike. It got instantly pulled and I've been trying to argue with YouTube, with several counter claims that all the work in the video is my own. That you can't possibly claim a copyright strike over a video of someone browsing your website and pointing out all the security issues with it. This has fallen on deaf ears with their bots saying over and over I haven't given enough info. But not telling me what more they need.
Its clearly an abuse of the parking company where they know its an arse trying to fight YouTube to get a video back. Thankfully we have lbry who ignore bullshit claims such as this so the video is still available there.
I asked The Register if they'd like to do a story on this. The abuse of the YouTube copyright strike system and a parking company abusing it. I've had no reply and its been several weeks now since I asked.
I'll be doing my own article and putting it on my website soon. I gave up the YouTube fight. I make no money from my videos and reluctantly followed the copyright school section so the strike expires in December. That way the parking company don't get my real address, which I'm most certain they wanted so they can either abuse it or send goons round. But, as I'm small fry, doubt it will be noticed on my site.
The company is clearly somewhat shady. In their privacy statement now, where they made no mention of GDPR originally (which was one of the issues including the security issues) they now have a statement claiming that policy was updated in April last year. Which is before my video was uploaded about all their security issues. This is clearly an attempt to fool any investigation by the ICO. Unfortunately for them the wayback machine captured the same page in May of last year and that same statement is missing :)
"That way the parking company don't get my real address..."
Wait! Wut? I don't know how YouTube works, other than as a generic person without a Google account that watches the occasional cat video; but do they really demand your own personal home address when you set up an account/channel/upload videos?
No. When someone files a copyright strike against a video they are claiming the work as their own and the video gets instantly removed. This becomes a legal matter. So you can ignore it and get on with life or if you want to fight it, you have to do a counter claim that could end up in a US court (if you're based there) because of this, you're then required to give your real name and real full address. So if the other party that claimed the strike decides "I'll take your counter claim to court then to prove the video rights are mine" they have an address and name to send the legal papers too. However, you can avoid giving your name if you decided to spend lots of money on a lawyer and get them to do the counter claim for you. Then their name and company address gets given out.
But for small channels like me. The strike system can be abused such as this parking company have done. Either just to be an arse believing you won't fight it or hoping you counter claim (which they can ignore for 10 days at which point they loose their right to fight and you get your video back) but they now have your personal address which they can/could use to abuse you or send goons round. People do fight these as get 2 strikes and your channel is limited. Get 3 and it gets deleted. The system is broken.
"People do fight these as get 2 strikes and your channel is limited. Get 3 and it gets deleted."
Ah, I see. Yes, that system is completely broken, as it clearly works against anyone who isn't permanently lawyered up. It also works against genuine claims against someone who is permanently lawyered up. If you're not packing solid lawyer you can get snuffed out if someone just files a copyright claim and you don't have the means to fight it (and are understandably reluctant to have your personal details passed to the other party). Shesh - that's bad.
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