Facebook Terms of Use Back to Normal

After a veritable Internet coup, Facebook’s Terms of Use have gone back to the way they used to be. In other words–relatively harmless. From the New York Times:

After a wave of protests from its users, the Facebook social networking site said on Wednesday that it would withdraw changes to its so-called terms of service concerning the data supplied by the tens of millions of people who use it.

The about-face was made known to many users in a message posted on the Facebook home page saying : “Over the past few days, we have received a lot of feedback about the new terms we posted two weeks ago. Because of this response, we have decided to return to our previous Terms of Use while we resolve the issues that people have raised.”

Earlier this month, Facebook deleted a provision from its terms of service that said users could remove their content at any time, at which time the license would expire. It added new language that said Facebook would retain users’ content and licenses after an account was terminated.

Massive props to Consumerist for initially pointing out that, per the new terms,

anything you upload to Facebook can be used by Facebook in any way they deem fit, forever, no matter what you do later.

It took them a couple of days, but Facebook responded to the massive online and MSM uproar. People are still troubled by the bad coverage, and an unknown number of users have deleted their accounts.

Consumerist did a fabulous job of not only translating essential legalese into people-speak, but of catalyzing awareness of how Terms of Service in general aren’t set up in a mutually beneficial way.

  • Agree with the reaction to the new TOS, but felt the response by Zuckenberg was good. I posted about it on my blog yesterday, along with some tips for Facebook and other companies who may be involved in managing CGM. We’ve done a lot of work in this area, and these companies need to learn to trust their user community a bit more, if they do they can even be leveraged to keep moderation costs down etc.

    Post here: http://www.tomhcanderson.com/2009/02/18/we-the-people-of-facebook/

    Tom H. C. Anderson
    Managing Partner
    Anderson Analytics, LLC

  • It makes no sense that Facebook would risk messing up a good thing by edging in on people’s intellectual property. They had people’s trust and then they go and risk losing it; not smart.

  • why i cant each get my framville neb profile one by one?