February 18, 2009

Facebook faces up to controversy, reverts TOS, turns to users for input

February 17th, 2009

Posted by Jennifer Leggio

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After much Internet uproar since the weekend over Facebook’s updated terms of service, the social networking site stated tonight that it would revert to its previous terms of service (TOS). In a blog post published late tonight by Mark Zuckerberg, the founder said that the TOS published prior to Feb. 4 would stay in effect until the company resolved user issues and addressed concerns. According to the post:


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. As we thought through this, we reached out to respected organizations to get their input… 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.

Zuckerberg says that the the next version of the TOS will be “written clearly in language that everyone can understand.” Condescension aside, Zuckerberg also says that this time around, the users will have more input in crafting the TOS, which the company hopes to complete in the next few weeks. This is a follow-up to the polling Facebook did regarding the TOS in the first place.

Anyone interested in participating in the development of the new TOS can join the Facebook Bill of Rights and Responsibilities group. The group currently has less than 200 members with only 23 questions posted.

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