In case you missed it and have no idea what I’m referencing, here are a couple examples of what the Be Like Bill app allows Facebook users create and share.
While there were different flavors of the claim, Good Housekeeping summarized the privacy concerns well in saying, “...to make those annoying (and repetitive) pictures, people actually gave Blobla the right to use and edit their content permanently with "no limit and no recover," according to the terms of service. Translation: You're giving them free rein to your personal stuff.” Unfortunately for Blobla, they didn’t stop there. The author then proceeded to make the association with an unrelated article by the BBB that raised concern about nefarious Facebook apps that contain viruses and malware. To be fair, there are plenty of apps on Facebook that fall under “clickbait” scams. The association in this case seems unfounded, but as with many things on the Internet that didn’t stop it from becoming Internet reality, and was repeated over and over again.
In full on damage control, Blobla changed their terms and has been reaching out to media outlets to try and set the record straight. In their communication with KFVS12 they explained that they were removing the “no limit and no recovery “from its terms to avoid confusion. The only reason it would use content was because of its function for normal users to create a post in other languages.” Responding to the popular fact checking site Snopes.com cited the following:
The now-elided, widely-cited verbiage ("permanently, no limit and no recovery") was poorly composed and pertained to unrelated functions which might have ended up on their web site. “First, our game Be Like Bill doesn't require users to authorize a Facebook app," a spokesperson for Blobla wrote in response. "Of course if users want to share the results to Facebook, they must be logged in Facebook. However we use Facebook share dialog for users to share their results. It's a very common ... This doesn't allow us to collect any data from user's Facebook account. Second, we do not store any information of users on our servers, as stated in our ToS. Third, the Terms about our right to users' content is about posts on our website (a post may be a game like Be Like Bill, or a quiz, a video...). Because our website has a function for normal users to create a post in other languages. We have removed that term to avoid misunderstanding."
Paying a visit to Blobla’s current Terms of Service you can see that it has been changed to, “Your information you provide to us is used only to generate the results for the games you play or the quizzes you take. We do not store your information on our server, nor we provide it to 3rd parties.”
Let’s end on a more positive note. In the BBB’s unrelated-to-Bloba article, they mentioned areas for consumers to be on the lookout. Out of the list, here are three that are good reminders for your company’s marketing:
Don't take the bait. Stay away from promotions of "exclusive," "shocking" or "sensational" pictures or video. If it sounds too outlandish to be true, it is probably a scam.
Unless you run a “clickbait” brand, savvy consumers are wising up to overly-sensational marketing. While it may get you the pageviews, it’s putting your brand at risk.
Hover over a link to see its true destination. Before you click, mouse over the link to see where it will take you.
If you are using URL shorteners, invest in a branded short URL, or at least add a “destination URL” test to your A/B testing cycle to ensure that your URLs aren’t hurting your campaigns conversion.
Don't click on links leading to unfamiliar websites.
Be mindful of using landing pages that aren’t your primary domain.
The User Guided Group can help you design, build and/or validate products and services. With the technical resources to develop your product roadmap, the marketing expertise to help you reach your customers, and the data-driven insights to let you know what's working, we can help your product succeed from the first step to the last.