Over recent years, social media sites have become a key tool for communication. However, the debate that how far these sites should be able to control the user’s access is still unresolved. In a recent case, a judge has sided with Facebook over a similar question, citing that Facebook had a right to bar users if they violated its terms.
One of the key ways Facebook makes money is through its ads. However, imagine that the users were able to somehow access an ad-less Facebook. Whereas that will certainly sit well with the users, it would spell doom for Facebook.
Sambreel, an advertising company, offered somewhat of a similar solution to its users. The company offers a number of products which allow users to visually tweak the appearance of their Facebook profiles so that they can view them minus the ads offered by the social network.
When Facebook got wind of this, the social network barred such users from accessing the website who were making use of the software. It further demanded that if they wished to access their accounts, the must first uninstall the software.
Sambreel took to a court over this, bringing antitrust allegations against Facebook. However, the judge has decided to side with Facebook, ruling that the social network is fully within its legal rights to put such curbs on users violating its terms.
The exact ruling by the judge stated, “There is no fundamental right to use Facebook; users may only obtain a Facebook account upon agreement that they will comply with Facebook’s terms, which is unquestionably permissible under the antitrust laws. It follows, therefore, that Facebook is within its rights to require that its users disable certain products before using its website.