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As the application industry continues to grow, a company not known for its IT prowess has decided to get into the business while the getting is good.The well-known detergent brand Wisk, which is owned by the Sun Products Corp., has created a rather practical Facebook app called “Wisk-It.”

Since there is currently no effective or easy way to remove photos on Facebook,  Stephanie Clifford reports that Wisk’s brand manager, Elisa Gurevich, thought Wisk could take its stain-fighting heritage to Facebook.

What Wisk detergent does to stains on clothing, Wisk-It does to photo collections on Facebook.  The application is being introduced this week as a tool to rid Facebook profiles of unwanted or objectionable photos.  It is not a Photoshop app per se.

The app was created by the agency TracyLocke as part of a marketing update for Wisk.

Wisk-It assembles a friend’s photos that are tagged. You identify the pictures that you would like your friend to remove and send the person a request to do so.  The friend then installs Wisk-It. The app pulls up the specified photos and, with your friend’s approval, deletes them.

Based on the photos you can find on Facebook, this app would seem to have great value for someone looking to tidy their appearance before a job or school interview.  However, “Wisk-ing” the wrong photos could create legal issues.  Some photos that people may wish to have removed may not actually be owned by that person, creating an issue of ownership as well as the potential infringement upon the rights of those who do not own those photos. In addition, some photos may have intellectual property rights attached to them and cannot be removed without explicit permission.

Thus, as good as Wisk-It may be at cleaning up someone’s image, legal hurdles such as these and possibly others may first need to be overcome.


Joel B. Rothman represents clients in intellectual property infringement litigation involving patents, trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets, defamation, trade libel, unfair competition, unfair and deceptive trade practices, and commercial matters. Joel’s litigation practice also includes significant focus on electronic discovery issues such as e-discovery management and motion practice relating to e-discovery.