Photo-Sharing Site Runs Afoul of Facebook
A site encourages users to post "hilarious" photos of friends and charges fees to have them removed. Not everyone's laughing
By Douglas MacMillan
Posting photos of last night's indiscretions on the Internet always carries risk. Sure, you can upload pictures to a password-protected album, or a social network that lets you share only with the folks you trust.
But compromising photos have a way of getting out. Now the leaking just got easier. A new free Web site called YoBusted prominently features photos of people in various stages of undress, in the midst of revelry, or in other potentially embarrassing situations. The snapshots are not necessarily posted by the subject, either; YoBusted encourages users to send in photos of other people with the invitation: "Anonymously upload hilarious photos and videos of people you know." If a subject who isn't a member wants a photo removed, YoBusted requires that the person become a "trial" member for $19.99 for a month or a "premium" member for $49.99 a year.
Alleged Misuse of Facebook Photos
On one level, YoBusted is only the latest reminder of the lack of privacy in the age of digital cameras, the Web, and social media that make it easy for compromising photos to make their way around the world in seconds. At the same time, YoBusted's methods have raised eyebrows among legal experts, and a prominent social-networking site alleges YoBusted is misusing its content.
At least four users of Facebook say photos were taken from their Facebook profile pages and posted to YoBusted without their permission. After being alerted to those allegations against YoBusted by BusinessWeek.com, Facebook responded that posting photos from user profile pages without the photo owner's permission violates its terms of service. Facebook also alleged that YoBusted is unlawfully demanding payment for the removal of photos. Barry Schnitt, a spokesman for Facebook, says the company has alerted the FBI to YoBusted's alleged conduct. An FBI spokesman didn't confirm that Facebook had contacted the bureau.