Backlash forces Facebook to back down on terms-of-use changes

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has reversed the site’s decision to amend its terms-of-use document after widespread user dissatisfaction. Facebook will return the wording to its terms-of-use to its original format.

 

But the scandal may not be over. Zuckerberg wrote on his company blog that Facebook is still in the process of amending the document and will seek to make changes within the next few weeks.

“A couple of weeks ago, we revised our terms-of-use hoping to clarify some parts for our users. Over the past couple of days, we received a lot of questions and comments about the changes and what they mean for people and their information.

“Based on this feedback, we have decided to return to our previous terms-of-use while we resolve the issues that people have raised.”

Facebook initially changed its terms-of-use to say that the site retains the right to use profile images and information even after a user deletes his or her account.

Several Facebook groups were founded to protest the move, with thousands of users claiming Facebook could sell their private images for profit.

The new wording claimed that users gave Facebook, “irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive, transferable, fully paid worldwide license” to material on the site.

Zuckerberg said it was a contradiction for users to share images and information and then demand complete control over them on the internet.

“These two positions are at odds with each other. There is no system today that enables me to share my email address with you and then simultaneously lets me control who you share it with and also lets you control what services you share it with.”

Despite the controversy, Zuckerberg says the terms-of-use have reverted to those used before 4 February. The company will now go back to the drawing board.
“Going forward, we’ve decided to take a new approach towards developing our terms. We concluded that returning to our previous terms was the right thing for now,” he says.
“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.
“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.”

 

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