Facebook Threatens to Quit Europe Over Data Privacy Ban

For many photographers and videographers, social media is a great way to not only present their work, but also to communicate with current and potential clients. Instagram individually is the largest photo-sharing site in the world, and what happens to these platforms has far-reaching implications for our industry. 

The EU has been quite concerned about how data is managed and shared from European countries. This is why GDPR regulations were introduced in May 2018. Since then, companies have been scrambling to try to keep up to date, and large data-sharing organizations have seemingly struggled to keep up. 

At this stage, it is unlikely that Facebook will quit Europe; however, Facebook has described that they may be incapable of providing a service based on some of the regulations. 

For creatives, this could be a huge blow, especially because of how important Instagram has become. Not being able to effectively use the platforms prevents many kinds of marketing strategies. A lot of wedding photographers, for example, use Facebook and Instagram to market their services and to keep in contact with the families they work with. 

I myself have managed to gain contracts and commissions via Instagram, so the value these platforms offer is more than just followers and likes. For this reason, if Facebook as a whole does quit Europe, the implications could be severe on both sides of the Atlantic. 

The video linked above discusses the issue in more detail. 

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50 Comments

Tony Clark's picture

Facebook needs them more than EU needs Facebook. Don't worry, someone else will fill the void.

Deleted Account's picture

Did you actually watch the video? This isn't just a FB thing. They're just the particular case study. It actually affects any company that offers services in both the USA and EU.

Tony Clark's picture

I recently watched Social Dilemma on Netflix and understand what Facebook and other social media apps do.

Deleted Account's picture

So the answer is, "no".

Tony Clark's picture

Actually, yes Salty.

Rhonald Rose's picture

Addictive product design is nothing new. It's just people have become isolated and hence start filling the void with social media more these days.

Despite what these companies do, the power to deny is with the consumer and not these companies.

Used extensively for 8 years and then I quit altogether and not on any of these platforms for the past five years.

Danny Colombo's picture

Agreed. But, exactly who NEEDS Facebook?

Benoit Pigeon's picture

Zuckerberg needs to grow up and quit the tantrums. Grow up Zuck!

Rayann Elzein's picture

"For creatives, this could be a huge blow, especially because of how important Instagram has become."
Then maybe the creatives will stop being lazy and stop counting on a biased algorithm, and make an effort to put their work out there on a proper website, with good quality nicely sized images. Having said that, who here really thinks that Facebook will pull out of Europe? I mean, seriously, how many billions of revenues are they ready to give up?

Peter Mueller's picture

Absolutely agree with comment "Then maybe the creatives will stop being lazy and stop counting on a biased algorithm, and make an effort to put their work out there on a proper website, with good quality nicely sized images."

Deleted Account's picture

A "proper website" is not a functional replacement for a social media platform. The power of Instagram isn't that it gives you a place to display your photos. It comes from the fact that it's a platform that millions of people regularly use in their daily lives. Take away that and you just end up with a gimped version of Flickr.

William Faucher's picture

I agree. My thought is that if Instagram were to no longer exist in Europe, it would allow for another platform to come up, and hopefully that replacement would be better than IG in some ways.

Rayann Elzein's picture

I don't care about millions of people who swipe and double tap all day long without realising what they're actually doing or seeing. I rather have 1000 people who performed a search and ended up on my website and actually buying something. It takes a lot of effort, and it still involves "beating" an algorithm (Google's), but there are "rules" (even if they are unwritten) that if are followed can bring a great deal of success. In Instagram, you have to be fake to make it, when has that ever been fun or agreeable anyway?

jay holovacs's picture

Building your own website is not necessarily a feasible solution essentially since you will be considered a commercial site. My wife does ADA compliance for a university website, and believe me it's a legal rats nest, with ambulance chasing lawyers looking for mistakes. In the link below is the legal trials and tribulations of a guy who ran a small historic automobile website for years (doesn't even sell stuff). However between the EU and CA legal requirements, he's deep in legal limbo.

https://ateupwithmotor.com/site-news/whatever-happened-to/

Deleted Account's picture

The world would be a better place without FB and IG

Tammie Lam's picture

LOL I just posted the same without reading all comments. 100% agree.

Danny Colombo's picture

Add Twitter to the list and I’m on board. Online communication is great. People ‘broadcasting’ without any responsibility, not so much.

Daniel Lee's picture

Couldn't agree more. I stopped using Facebook in 2012, I still have an IG account but don't use it (mainly so no one takes my username).

Bruce G's picture

Thats a lot of up votes and i'm adding mine.

Tammie Lam's picture

The world would be so much more better without FB garbage.

stuartcarver's picture

I like Instagram purely because I’ve been careful to choose who I follow and I don’t care about likes, I just post shots and music related stuff and as long as my mates enjoy it I’m not arsed. Facebook can f—k off.

T Van's picture

I think a lot of photographers and artists quit Instagram after seeing the amount of theft of images by anyone and everyone.

Black Z Eddie .'s picture

Eh, I don't think a substantial number.

Surely, you can add 500px to that in terms of theft. Please don't tell you think disabling the "right-click" is going to prevent anyone from stealing your images. There are extensions to counter that. Also, thieves can just print screen it.

Also, 500px provides higher quality images than FB and IG.

T Van's picture

You can add 500px. Difference is volume. So tell me what amount of theft is acceptable?

Black Z Eddie .'s picture

My bad. When I mentioned substantial number, I meant the number of artists quitting IG due to theft.

Do you have the volume; or just assuming?

No amount of theft is acceptable. But, you're fooling yourself if you think you can stop it. Definitely sue whenever you can. Unfortunately, you're not going to stop it.

T Van's picture

I can stop it for myself by not posting work on IG and FB. Everyone has a choice.

Black Z Eddie .'s picture

Lol, it's not just FB and IG. At least one of your images probably already has been passed around.

But, anyways, suit yourself, if you choose believe it only happens on those two platforms. smh

T Van's picture

Where did I say it was just those 2 platforms.
They do however happen to be the worst places for it happening over and over again.
If you don't care about preventing theft of people photographic work.
That's up to you.
SMH also.

T Van's picture

This is a photography site. I'd say your attitude about image theft is rather cavalier for this forum.

Black Z Eddie .'s picture

You are correct, this is a photography site. It would do you well to learn to take the good along with the bad; and face reality and know your rights.

T Van's picture

LOL

T Van's picture

That was a joke right? Learn to accept photo theft? Reality? Apparently our views of that don't align where photographers rights are concerned.

stuartcarver's picture

I’m an amateur photographer and in the main I follow other amateur photographers who just like sharing work for people to see so none of that really matters in my case. If someone wants to steal a 1200 pixel version of one of my shots then crack on I say, they will hardly be printing it for a wall canvas.

Jeffrey Puritz's picture

You have obviously never used GigaPixel. It will change your mind.

stuartcarver's picture

Again, it would involve me caring about such things, it’s just a photo to me, I’d be more interested if they were trying to rob my house.

Jason Frels's picture

How do we get Facebook to quit the US?

Fristen Lasten's picture

Not happening.

AA Pang's picture

FB and other social media are a net negative to the planet.

Michael Krueger's picture

Better off without Facebook or Instagram, both platforms are toxic and work is easily stolen if posted.

Just me's picture

Moneywise, Google offers me way more job contact than Facebook
Traffic wise, Facebook sent me a lot of people to my site, but it's kind of useless... Except to get better ranking in Google... The irony.

William Faucher's picture

I begin to wonder if this wouldn't actually be a GOOD thing. Getting IG removed from Europe doesn't suddenly silence the millions of creatives here. If anything it would be a perfect opportunity for a better platform than IG to come up and make its way to us, without being in IG's shadow.

Christian Lainesse's picture

Can Facebook also quit North America? Thanks in advance, Mark.

Tundrus Photo's picture

I confess - I don't get it. When I watch the video and read the comments (as of the time of writing this) I note one thing: the lack of comments regarding the use of personal information, invasion of privacy, and 'big brother" watching you. Perhaps -just perhaps - this is a symptom of people not understanding or caring about their privacy anymore. Writing about the loss of visibility for creatives is nice - but that isn't the point. The EU is trying to get back the privacy people once had before Facebook, Instagram, etc. I'm all for privacy and the EU is right on this point. But I doubt that it'll make a difference.

Billy Paul's picture

I first heard of facebook about 15 years ago and thought I would create and account to see what it was about.

Facebook rejected every throwaway email domain I had access to. That was enough to convince me their goal was to collect and abuse my personal information. I didn't create an account and never will.

Amazing to think that hundreds of millions give up their privacy in exchange for digital trinkets. Zuckerberg was right the world is full of dumb f**ks.

Peter Mueller's picture

I just watched a recent/new documentary (ish) on Netflix, "the Social Dilemma" Relevant and well worth watching in connection to this conversation.

chris bryant's picture

YAY!!! Get lost Zuck and your data suck.

Fritz Gessler's picture

if that happened, that FAKEBOOK & co. really would leave europe - it would be the very best of this annus horribilis 2020 of corona epidemic!

Nico van Noorloos's picture

EU measures are there to protect our privacy. To prevent our data from being permanently mis / used. There will always be other social media that will take over from Instagram / youtube / facebook. No worries.

andy wee's picture

so base on this, wechat, QQ and many other china services would be deem running afoul of the law, no?

Nate Lublin-Good's picture

This video stated that the US NSA reads and collects data from the Web. If you think that this is scary, you need to watch a documentary called "The Social Dilemma" available on Netflix. If your worried about the NSA this will let you know you shouls really be more worried about what Facebook, Google, Apple and other "Social" media web site collects and sells about you. Pretty freaking scary.