Less than a week after Facebook announced its new Terms of Service (TOS), Facebook has announced that they are going back to the TOS drawing board, and have reinstated their old Terms of Service in the meantime.
The alarm was sounded on the new Facebook Terms of Service almost as soon as they went up, and while some predicted it was nothing but a tempest in a teapot, in fact it became a maelstrom, with direct calls for Facebook to roll back the TOS and, ultimately, a new Facebook group called “People Against the new Terms of Service (TOS)” being formed.
At issue was the new language which basically gave Facebook full ownership of and control over any content that was posted by a user to the Facebook service. While Facebook said – and quite genuinely, no doubt – that the reason for the new language was to protect them in situations where a user wants Facebook to share their information and data with another user, the resulting language was so onerous that it even provided that Facebook could not only do whatever they wanted with a user’s data into perpetuity, but it even gave them the right to create derivative works from that data.
Explained Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg of the roll back to the previous TOS, “Many of us at Facebook spent most of today discussing how best to move forward. 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.” The latter approach won out.
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Facebook will now begin the process of crafting a less onerous new Terms of Service, and is soliciting input from its users. You can give Facebook your own input at the Facebook Bill of Rights and Responsibilities Facebook Group.
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