Facebook.com has suspended the new Terms Of Service (TOS), it imposed unilaterally on February 4th, without notice, and reported about here, a couple of days ago.
Facebook.com, facing a storm of complaints from consumer and privacy groups over the new TOS (you can read our post the other day for exact details) which among other things, gave Facebook.com, the ownership of all content uploaded to it, forever, to do with as they please.
On the front page of Facebook.com there is not the following statement on top:
If you go to Facebook.com, the TOS currently posted, you will see it has reverted to the prior version showing a last update of September 23, 2008.
In its blog, founder Mark Zuckerberg said:
“”Going forward, we’ve decided to take a new approach towards developing our (TOS). We concluded that returning to our previous terms was the right thing for now. As I said yesterday, we think that a lot of the language in our terms is overly formal and protective so we don’t plan to leave it there for long.”””
“””Our terms aren’t just a document that protect our rights; it’s the governing document for how the service is used by everyone across the world. Given its importance, we need to make sure the terms reflect the principles and values of the people using the service.”””
“”””Our next version will be a substantial revision from where we are now. It will reflect the principles I described yesterday around how people share and control their information, and it will be written clearly in language everyone can understand. Since this will be the governing document that we’ll all live by, Facebook users will have a lot of input in crafting these terms.
You have my commitment that we’ll do all of these things, but in order to do them right it will take a little bit of time. We expect to complete this in the next few weeks. In the meantime, we’ve changed the terms back to what existed before the February 4th change, which was what most people asked us for and was the recommendation of the outside experts we consulted.
If you’d like to get involved in crafting our new terms, you can start posting your questions, comments and requests in the group we’ve created—Facebook Bill of Rights and Responsibilities. I’m looking forward to reading your input.”””
Already, it seems that Facebook.com will be reversing most of the problems we pointed out with the New TOS.
Posted on the Bill of Rights currently is:
“””Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts with us.
Here are responses to some of the things you’ve written below:
1. You own your information. Facebook does not. This includes your photos and all other content.
2. Facebook doesn’t claim rights to any of your photos or other content. We need a license in order to help you share information with your friends, but we don’t claim to own your information.
3. We won’t use the information you share on Facebook for anything you haven’t asked us to. We realize our current terms are too broad here and they make it seem like we might share information in ways you don’t want, but this isn’t what we’re doing.
4. We will not share your information with anyone if you deactivate your account. If you’ve already sent a friend a message, they’ll still have that message. However, when you deactivate your account, all of your photos and other content are removed.
5. We apologize for the confusion around these issues. We never intended to claim ownership over people’s content even though that’s what it seems like to many people. This was a mistake and we apologize for the confusion.”””
Confusion, there was no confusion.
Facebook tried to take ownership of users content and use it however they wanted, and got caught.
“”””7. The Days of Accountability & Transparency Arrives.
2008 was a turning point. It was the year that blogs called out way that the big boys do business.
Closed doors, doing things for your own benefit to the determinate of others in the cloak of darkness; those days are done.
From Wall Street to Main Street, we will not pause one second to ponder whether the questions can be asked, whether the dominate players can be questioned and whether we can demand fairness and accountability.
Yes, Yes and Yes.”””
It looks like our second prediction of 2009 has in fact come true. (the first that the Kentucky court of appeals would overturn the domain seizure order happened last month).
Today blogger are watching you. If you do something that doesn’t pass the smell test, then the public gets involved and forces company to change their polices or risk the loss of business and reputation.
This is way of the world, 2009 style.