Facebook Changes Its Terms Back

By: Chris Crum - February 18, 2009

Mark ZuckerbergFacebook recently changed its terms of service and sparked a bit of controversy. This largely stemmed from the langauge used in the new ToS, which indicated that Facebook had complete control of anything you post there and could do anything they wanted with your info.

After a fair amount of stink was raised, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg posted on the Facebook blog saying that on Facebook, "People still own and control their information." To set minds further at ease, the company has decided to just go ahead and change the ToS back to the way it was.

To make sure everyone is aware of the most recent changes, Facebook has included an update about them for all users to see when they login to their accounts:

Facebook Terms of Service Update

Zuckerberg has also made another post to the Facebook blog about these changes. "Many of us at Facebook spent most of today discussing how best to move forward," he says. "One approach would have been to quickly amend the new terms with new language to clarify our positions further. Another approach was simply to revert to our old terms while we begin working on our next version. As we thought through this, we reached out to respected organizations to get their input."

So you can still expect to see more changes coming, but next time, I believe Facebook will be choosing its words a bit more carefully. The social network’s growth has been tremendous over the past year, and they wouldn’t want to damage that by driving people away.

Chris Crum

About the Author

Chris CrumChris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.

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  • http://heightchallenged.com/ Mawe

    Totally agree with this move to return the ToS to the way it was. Facebook better be careful and not step too much in the toes of its users, or it will be facing a backlash that could drive the site to its knees. I wonder why the heck they are doing this, anyway?

  • http://www.thenetworkgarden.com Mark Sigal

    While perception is reality, and the emotional response suggests that Facebook needs to do a better job of being consultative with its community versus delivering material edicts from on high, the truth is that the hullabaloo about Facebook

  • http://www.kettlewell.net Matt Kettlewell

    I’m not really sure of why Facebook would want to own the content

    A few years back, AOL (I believe) made it extremely clear that they didn’t want to own the content – and for good purpose. There was some litigation of some sort that they were glad they distanced themselves on.

    For instance – if Facebook owns all the content on their site, then they could be liable for any content that I say. In the US, any claim to assassinate the president is taken seriously. Do you think that Facebook would want to own that sort of content that a user makes?

    Or pirated videos, movies, music, etc? with RIAA hanging around, I really know that they don’t want to own the content.

    I’m thinking that they really want the ability to use the creative content of what people say on their site (I don’t know for sure though) for the purposes of, say, making a movie or a commercial or some other profit making venture.

    But to own the content outright I doubt is what they intended, but with 175 Million voices, it’ll be impossible to please them all.

  • http://www.coffeerama.com coffee

    now i’m glad i have stayed away from Facebook