Some of you may have noticed that the “share on Facebook” icon no longer appears when you open a report on 1voz.org and we wanted to take a moment to explain why that is.
Having the ability to share quickly to Facebook has some great potential for helping stories on VOZ reach new audiences, but research about the extent to which Facebook captures user data has led us to remove this functionality. It has reported that Facebook is tracking computers of users without their consent, whether they are logged in to Facebook or not, and even if they are not registered users of the site or explicitly opt out in Europe.
The issue revolves around Facebook’s use of its social plugins such as the “Like” button, which has been placed on more than 13m sites including health and government sites and VOZ. Facebook collects data from anyone who visits a website with Facebook sharing buttons, including from those who haven’t even clicked the link and from those in countries where this kind of data collection illegal.
This means that by just having the option to share straight to Facebook on 1voz.org there is the potential for Facebook to collect data about anyone who visits the site, and that is something we believe undermines the work we are doing.
We have taken the decision to remove all Facebook integration from 1voz.org for the time being in order to be able to continue protecting our mappers and readers. We will be taking a review of the situation and monitoring closely the way in which this affects how often reports are read and how Facebook’s policies may change.
It is still possible to link to VOZ from Facebook, and of course you can still share quickly and directly to twitter. We also aim to add share by email to reports in the future.
We hope you agree with the action we have taken, and are open to comments and discussion around this matter.