One librarian’s well-intentioned history lesson may soon clash with Facebook’s terms of service.
Donnelyn Curtis, the director of research collections and services at the University of Nevada at Reno, created Facebook profiles for two alumni who graduated from the school in 1915: Joe McDonald, a mechanical engineering major who enjoys boxing, and his girlfriend Leola Lewis, a sophomore who enjoys embroidery.
“We’re just trying to help history come alive a little bit for students,” Curtis told the Chronicle of Higher Education.
In that, she has succeeded: More than 1,866 people have friended each profile for updates on Joe and Leola’s day-to-day college life at the turn of the century. However, while it may seem innocuous to read two deceased persons’ updates about dinner (oxtail soup) and world events (a smallpox epidemic), it’s a practice against Facebook policy.
“It’s against our terms of service to create... a Profile on behalf of a person who is not living,” a Facebook spokesperson told us in an email.
In Facebook’s terms of service, the platform allows users to create memorial profile pages for deceased persons, but those persons should already have had profiles while they were living:
“When a user passes away, we memorialize their account to protect their privacy,” it reads.
The spokesperson had an alternative for Curtis.
“Instead, we encourage people to create a Page in order to establish a presence on Facebook for a non-living person,” she said.
However, it’s unlikely that anyone will report Curtis for using Joe and Leola’s information on a Facebook profile. Since Curtis told the Chronicle that Joe McDonald’s granddaughter gave her permission to use this information on Facebook, she probably won’t be reported for having an impostor profile. Instead, she’s gotten nothing but praise from users.
“Thank you for the add. It's a fascinating look into the lives of ordinary people,” wrote John Michaelson.
Japan accepts U.S. giant-robot battle challenge
What a time to be alive.10k
The Philae comet lander may have discovered alien life
Don't get too excited just yet. The findings haven't been verified.4.4k
U.S. women win first World Cup since '99
The Americans ride Carli Lloyd's hat trick for World Cup title.2.0k
Volunteers are needed to answer an age-old question about Tootsie Pops
Math says it’s about 1,000 licks. We call BS.
Counter-Strike squad affNity signs with 3sUP
3sUP is best know for its Call of Duty outings.106