Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Facebook TOS reprieve

Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg updated his official blog last night announcing that that, due to the "questions and comments" Facebook received on the TOS changes released Feb 4th, they would "roll back" to the old version. And there was much rejoicing.

Lost in the announcement seems to be the "for now" part. Anyone who thinks that the next version of their TOS isn't going to include similar language is fooling themselves. Facebook didn't change the way they cached your content so that they could keep it (even after you cancel your account)... they were already keeping it. And guess what? They probably still are.

Facebook launched a poll to gauge users reactions, and at of last night, CNet was reporting that 56% of respondents wanted the TOS rolled back. I imagine that a position poll about last summer's redesign would have been far more "anti-change" however, and we all know how that ended.

What really surprises me is how much of Facebook's userbase seems to think that their content on Facebook belongs to them. The original (and now current, temporarily) TOS even says that Facebook may "retain archived copies of your User Content". So was all this uproar just over the fact that they might use it after you've canceled your account?

My position is that this really boils down to semantics, and awareness, and communication. No one reads TOS, and until this colorfully titled article in the Consumerist, I'd wager that very few Facebook users ever really thought about Facebook's intentions for their content. I imagine that the next version of their TOS won't be much of a departure at all, other than how it's worded.

No comments:

Post a Comment