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Facebook Reverts ToS Change After User Uproar

CmdrTaco posted more than 5 years ago | from the what-we-meant-was dept.

Social Networks 260

rarel writes "CNN and other media outlets report that Facebook reverted their TOS update and went back to using the previous one. 'The site posted a brief message on users' home pages that said it was returning to its previous "Terms of Use" policy "while we resolve the issues that people have raised."' Facebook's controversial changes to its Terms of Service, previously commented on Slashdot, included a mention that (users) 'may remove (their) User Content from the Site at any time. ... However, (they) acknowledge that the Company may retain archived copies of (their) User Content,' triggering a massive uproar from users and privacy groups."

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260 comments

slashdot reverts suckage after user uproar (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26901235)

just kidding. slashdot will always suck.

huhu (5, Funny)

softwave (145750) | more than 5 years ago | (#26901241)

I'll just stick to Friendface [friendface.org] , thank you very much!

Re:huhu (2)

jetsci (1470207) | more than 5 years ago | (#26901507)

This whole thing taught me something; if I want to maintain my privacy I need to stop trusting online communities. That means minimal info associated with my Slashdot account, no identifiable information on my Facebook page, no references to my personal life on my blog/website, etc. It really becomes a question of what can we do online anymore without having our privacy violated. I want to be able to register with my real name, maybe put up a few photos but then some giant like Facebook goes and oversteps their boundaries...*sigh*

Re:huhu (4, Insightful)

Mascot (120795) | more than 5 years ago | (#26901797)

If you want to maintain privacy, keep your life private. That's not rocket science. If you put anything personal online on public sites, obviously people are going to *gasp* know personal things about you. It's no different than standing on a street corner yelling about your sex life. If you don't want people to know, don't fucking tell them.

I fail to see how this really relates to the issue at hand though. None of what you say would be any better protected with the old TOS than this new one. What you're talking about occurs when you put stuff on your page, not when you delete it. True, the new TOS is bollocks in that Facebook claims to retain rights even if you delete content, but the damage you are talking about already occurred so I don't get your point.

Re:huhu (5, Insightful)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 5 years ago | (#26901905)

So telling anyone anything is equivalent to yelling about it on a public street? I don't think so.

I hope you don't use email - after all, if that information goes through a company's servers, it's fair game for them to do what they like with it, as you might as well have published it on the front page of the news right?

(If you're going to say that email isn't a "public site", well, neither is facebook - access to information can be restricted to only certain people, just like with email.)

Re:huhu (5, Informative)

MrNaz (730548) | more than 5 years ago | (#26902013)

That's just the point. Facebook's TOS would have allowed them to take your previously private email-like data and published it wherever they felt would be profitable.

Re:huhu (1)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 5 years ago | (#26901937)

The other reality of this concept is "you can never make things as private as you want them to be", so you can either be careful and leak minimal amounts which are more than you want or be open and leak more than you want.

Notice the trend here?

It's just reality that unless you live in a bunker that has armed guards, people are going to have plenty of ways to keep track of your life if they desire. Trying to maintain privacy invites the opposite.

The moderate best you can hope for is hiding things in plain sight. That's the only way people don't take notice of things.

Re:huhu (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26902237)

keep your life private. That's not rocket science.

I'm a rocket scientist, you insensitive clod!

Re:huhu (1)

barncha (1432683) | more than 5 years ago | (#26901543)

Slashdotted! How am I meant to keep in touch with my tri-male-Liverpuddlian bit-on-the-side named emma now?

Oh, I'm sure that this will last. (4, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#26901257)

Unless team facebook is a bunch of utter morons, they knew that changing the TOS was likely to cause a stir(and, even if it didn't, it would cost a few lawyer hours). So, clearly, they had some reason for wanting to make the change. I'm guessing that that reason, whatever it is, didn't just vanish.

They'll probably just wait for the fuss to die down, reword it a bit, and try again. Outrage fatigue sets in quickly, as do acceptance, rationalization, and even embrace of the status quo.

Re:Oh, I'm sure that this will last. (5, Insightful)

Firethorn (177587) | more than 5 years ago | (#26901335)

Never underestimate the ignorance of many lawyer types. That's why you often get TOS and such that are so bad - lawyers, not having to fight against the other side's lawyers, tend to write things in their own favor, using simple, broad, ultimately overreaching terms. Still in legalize, of course, so you need a lawyer to understand the suckers.

Re:Oh, I'm sure that this will last. (5, Interesting)

nettdata (88196) | more than 5 years ago | (#26901569)

Never underestimate the ignorance of many lawyer types.

Or their ability to find BS stuff to do in order to validate their existence.

I won't even tell you about the lawyers I've had to battle (in 2 different corporations) because they wanted a complete list of all of the Open Source libraries and associated copyrights, BEFORE we even started the project.

They'd heard all about this "Open Source" thing and how evil it could be, after all, and wanted to protect the company.

They wouldn't green light the project until we provided that list, and yet we didn't even really know what we were building for them, never mind what we were using.

The nice thing, though, was that we picked every POSSIBLE library that we could find and submitted them and their copyrights for their analysis/aproval.

We had 4 developers spend an entire week doing that. At the client's expense.

The end result was that the lawyer eventually backed down on their request, but not until after we outlined all of the expenses incurred as a result of their initial request.

The owner of that company canned the lawyer shortly after that.

But that was still a solid week of wasted time that I'll never get back.

Re:Oh, I'm sure that this will last. (2, Insightful)

genner (694963) | more than 5 years ago | (#26901757)

But that was still a solid week of wasted time that I'll never get back.

You got paid....not really wasted time....for you anyway.

Re:Oh, I'm sure that this will last. (3, Insightful)

QuoteMstr (55051) | more than 5 years ago | (#26902219)

You got paid....not really wasted time....for you anyway.

There's more to life than money. Some of us want to do something useful or important with our time here on Earth. As Keynes said, in the long run, we're all dead.

Re:Oh, I'm sure that this will last. (5, Insightful)

furby076 (1461805) | more than 5 years ago | (#26901799)

I won't even tell you about the lawyers I've had to battle (in 2 different corporations) because they wanted a complete list of all of the Open Source libraries and associated copyrights, BEFORE we even started the project.

The nice thing, though, was that we picked every POSSIBLE library that we could find and submitted them and their copyrights for their analysis/aproval.

So wait, you are saying that a lawyer, who is not technically savvy, wanted information to help ensure the company was protected (maybe from a TOS that says something "use of this OSS for personal use is OK but for business use requires you to ....."). And he wanted this information BEFORE you started installing/using the software? Gee, I wonder why a lawyer would want to read a contract before someone, who is not a lawyer, agreed to use the product and thusly enter the company into the contract. So then you guys go overboard, because you act like this lawyer is evil; and according to you this is why the lawyer gets fired. So far the only thing I have read is: "blah blah blah....we are jerks...blah blah blah"

Not all lawyers are evil...I would wager the amount of evil lawyers to good lawyers is about the same ratio as the amount of evil programmers to good programmers - actually probably less since lawyers could be disbarred if they get caught breaking the law. He was doing his job - protecting the company. You may think you know everything about OSS TOS, though I doubt you have read every single TOS out there for all the software that you use, but you are no lawyer.

Next time try and be a team player. If I ever ran into a person like you and was in a position to give them a job it would never happen. I would rather give the job to someone who appreciates and believes in using the best product for the job (be it closed source or open source) and would help the legal team go through the TOS (and to let them know the information they REALLY need) to make sure the company does not get put into a detrimental contract.

You just didn't understand, I think (1)

Mathinker (909784) | more than 5 years ago | (#26902201)

If you read the post you replied to carefully, IMO it says that the lawyer wanted all those details before the project even had an initial design. Which is a silly request, and my impression is that the lawyer was very stubborn about this, even after nettdata explained why it was silly.

In other words, the lawyer wasn't being a team player. He was "worked around", and paid for it, dearly.

Re:Oh, I'm sure that this will last. (4, Insightful)

bwalling (195998) | more than 5 years ago | (#26901927)

The nice thing, though, was that we picked every POSSIBLE library that we could find and submitted them and their copyrights for their analysis/aproval. We had 4 developers spend an entire week doing that. At the client's expense.

So, you knowingly and deliberately inflated your billing to your client by doing unnecessary work due entirely to your own conceit? You owe your client a refund.

Re:Oh, I'm sure that this will last. (4, Informative)

pcgabe (712924) | more than 5 years ago | (#26902063)

You got a bad lawyer fired. That was a week well spent.

Re:Oh, I'm sure that this will last. (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 5 years ago | (#26901871)

"Ignorance"?

I forget which name goes with "Don't attribute to ignorance what can be attributed to malice".

We're in a time of AggressionOdds. If you GET the nasty clauses, your corp can have lots of fun. If the users "uproar", oh well, no one will care next month. Then they can try again.

Re:Oh, I'm sure that this will last. (2, Insightful)

conlaw (983784) | more than 5 years ago | (#26901885)

Never underestimate the ignorance of many lawyer types.

Two points here: first, no attorney I've ever met will spend billable time making changes to any agreement unless the client asks for a change. Second, sometimes some member of the client's staff, in an attempt to impress the boss, will come up with language that was used at his former employer and have it inserted in the contract. Then when the shit hits the fan, he'll try to blame it on the attorneys.

Re:Oh, I'm sure that this will last. (0, Offtopic)

pbhj (607776) | more than 5 years ago | (#26901589)

The management noted that Facebook would be, what was it, the 8th largest country in the world by population .. so it's obviously a marketing ploy to get lots of attention, then change the ToS to a socialist/collaborative (OSS-like) model as a pre-cursor to an uprising.

All hail Chairman Z!

Re:Oh, I'm sure that this will last. (3, Informative)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 5 years ago | (#26901683)

They'll probably just wait for the fuss to die down, reword it a bit, and try again.

Then they're doing a poor job of it; Posted in a huge section on the top of every page:

Over the past few days, we have received a lot of feedback about the new terms we posted two weeks ago. Because of this response, we have decided to return to our previous Terms of Use while we resolve the issues that people have raised. For more information, visit the Facebook Blog. If you want to share your thoughts on what should be in the new terms, check out our group "Facebook Bill of Rights and Responsibilities."

They're deliberately asking the enraged folk to weigh in on the new ToS. Hopefully they'll announce the change this time.

Re:Oh, I'm sure that this will last. (1)

genner (694963) | more than 5 years ago | (#26901741)

They'll probably just wait for the fuss to die down, reword it a bit, and try again. Outrage fatigue sets in quickly, as do acceptance, rationalization, and even embrace of the status quo.

Meh....it won't be that bad.

Re:Oh, I'm sure that this will last. (2, Insightful)

Bieeanda (961632) | more than 5 years ago | (#26901787)

I saw this coming. Given that they probably haven't learned anything from the Beacon backlash (or the second one, after they tried to sneak it back in), I'm expecting a subtle change of wording and a new placement in the TOS at best.

Re:Oh, I'm sure that this will last. (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Conrad (600139) | more than 5 years ago | (#26901815)

So, clearly, they had some reason for wanting to make the change. I'm guessing that that reason, whatever it is, didn't just vanish.

The previous blog entry [facebook.com] explains the reason: when you post your data it spills over to your friends accounts via inboxes etc. When you delete your account they don't want to have to hunt around all of your friends' and ex-friends' accounts to clean up all of that data, and they don't want to get in a legal mess by not cleaning it up.

I'm not sure I buy that completely: unless I use Facebook's messaging to send my email address say to a friend then it will only ever be stored against my record and deleting my record should clean it all up. And deleting all messages I created, and all notifications generated by my account should clean up the rest.

Re:Oh, I'm sure that this will last. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26901917)

Who keeps track of a websites TOS changes anyway? I'd be willing to bet the outrage was spearheaded by shills from another social networking application.

Astroturfing at its best.

Re:Oh, I'm sure that this will last. (1)

AbbyNormal (216235) | more than 5 years ago | (#26901983)

..they had some reason for wanting to make the change..

  Free Nationwide Press Coverage?

As if the terms weren't draconian enough... (1)

ahsile (187881) | more than 5 years ago | (#26901277)

Making users agree that they could keep your content indefinitely was insanity. I guess we wait and see what their next version looks like after they 'fix' it.

Re:As if the terms weren't draconian enough... (3, Insightful)

WmLGann (1143005) | more than 5 years ago | (#26901377)

So you're saying you don't want them to have backups of their systems?

Not being a facebook user I would find it amusing if a meteor took out their data center today and the site can't be restored on account of the ToS not allowing them to keep backups.

As in many cases with updated contracts (not even sure a ToS counts as a real contract), this is mostly just the paper being adjusted to reflect reality.

Backups... (3, Informative)

warrax_666 (144623) | more than 5 years ago | (#26901503)

One can encrypt backups with keys that are "expire" (read: are thrown away) according to some schedule, so that they can have e.g. backups for the last year, but cannot read backups that are older than that. Should be pretty simple to set up, really.

Re:As if the terms weren't draconian enough... (4, Insightful)

superskippy (772852) | more than 5 years ago | (#26901385)

I suspect that keeping your content indefinitely is what already happens, and they were merely trying to update the TOS to reflect reality. And besides, if you delete stuff from there, how are you ever going to know if all the copies have gone from their computers? And are you expecting them to go through all of their old backup tapes and delete your data?

It's also important to remember that Facebook is a hugely popular website that makes no money whatsoever. Their basic business model is to sell your privacy and give you in return the website. They haven't worked out how to do it yet, so you can expect more stuff you don't like from Facebook at some point in the future.

Re:As if the terms weren't draconian enough... (2, Informative)

ByOhTek (1181381) | more than 5 years ago | (#26901527)

They make money, just not by payment from the users.

They are loaded with advertisements.

Re:As if the terms weren't draconian enough... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26901699)

They are? I've never seen any.

Then again, I use Adblock so I wouldn't know.

Re:As if the terms weren't draconian enough... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26901893)

theres always at least one asshole who has to chime in with "thar r ads? lolz i ues adblock"

Re:As if the terms weren't draconian enough... (1)

xtracto (837672) | more than 5 years ago | (#26902045)

theres always at least one asshole who has to chime in with "thar r ads? lolz i ues adblock"

Mmmm, being this slashdot I am more inclined to say
"theres [sic] always at least one asshole who has to chime in with "oh noes! They are loaded with advertisements."

Re:As if the terms weren't draconian enough... (1)

yodleboy (982200) | more than 5 years ago | (#26901837)

They are loaded with advertisements
that's funny. i'm logged into my facebook account right now and after clicking through the various screens i have yet to see a single ad. that's in contrast to myspace, which likes to shove huge flash background advertisements for the latest lame movie all over the place.

the fact is this ToS was just putting in writing something they probably already did. with all the people demanding clear and transparent EULAs,ToS etc. it's ironic that when a company does the right thing, they get blasted for it.

if you're putting your information, content, whatever on a FREE website, you are agreeing to surrender some privacy. Don't like it? DON'T AGREE TO THE ToS and use these sites. All the people that made this such a shit-storm are free to move to some other social site that doesn't do the exact same thing. wait. there isn't one.

Re:As if the terms weren't draconian enough... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26901725)

I don't see anything "draconian" about the terms. Realistic, I think, would be a better phrasing. Anyone expecting to have total control of their data *after* it has been disseminated to a network of almost 200 million... is smart?

Re:As if the terms weren't draconian enough... (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#26901947)

And besides, if you delete stuff from there, how are you ever going to know if all the copies have gone from their computers? And are you expecting them to go through all of their old backup tapes and delete your data?

This argument has been made repeatedly and every time I hear it, slashdot gets a little dumber.

Facebook has stated before that they cannot remove the information from their database. They are using some kind of custom store which apparently is missing features that every other data store has. This points to their amazing technical incompetence. The only reason they could not be able to remove data from the site is if the site is so poorly architected that if a piece of data goes missing it will break things. END OF LINE.

As for backups, this is an incredibly retarded assertion. Facebook does not need to retain backups in perpetuity. They need to retain them just long enough to make sure that anything they have done hasn't totally fucked the site (1 year max) and then they MUST BE DESTROYED. There is NO technical reason why the backups need to be maintained. If they cannot be overwritten then they must be recycled, burned, what have you.

With that said, anyone who uses facebook or any other site whose license is as draconian as theirs is already and gives them a bunch of data that they actually care about is a complete tool.

Re:As if the terms weren't draconian enough... (1)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 5 years ago | (#26902019)

That's what I was thinking. Saying that they will retain a copy of the data after it's deleted is only logical for any company that uses backup tapes. When done right at least some portion of those tapes aren't even on site, so it's nearly impossible to expect them to keep pulling them back to delete stuff every time a user removes it from their page.

"Remember Facebook" (5, Insightful)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 5 years ago | (#26901281)

An important precedent has been set. The uproar created by the community, including some people cancelling their Facebook memberships, caused the Terms of Service to be reverted. We must remember this. It should be a rallying cry: "Remember Facebook".

Re:"Remember Facebook" (5, Funny)

R2.0 (532027) | more than 5 years ago | (#26901347)

the scary thing is, I can't tell whether to mod this Insightful or Funny.

Well played, sir!

Re:"Remember Facebook" (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26901537)

Well, I went for Funny.

Re:"Remember Facebook" (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26901863)

It appears you were wrong.

Re:"Remember Facebook" (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26901371)

Um. Yeah. Except this part:

"Your continued use of the Facebook Service after any such changes constitutes your acceptance of the new Terms."

Both in the old and new terms of (mis)use, and I'll bet you any amount of money that it'll remain in whatever terms they and their lawyers come up with. It's a "get out of obeying our own rules free" card. The next time you log on to your Facebook account it could be under entirely new terms, NONE of which you actually -agree- with. But because you've signed in, you've implicitly agreed to whatever they tell you to. It doesn't matter how much user input they pretend to be putting into the process if they can reverse it on a whim and without notice, now does it?

Re:"Remember Facebook" (5, Insightful)

HexOxide (1375611) | more than 5 years ago | (#26901479)

Would such a clause actually hold up in court? I just can't see how it possibly would, it's purely "You're damned if you do you're damned if you don't.

In this case, if you simply left, they kept all your content, if you wanted to delete your account, you need to log in to do so, thus accepting the new TOS, allowing them to keep all your content, I thought one of the conditions for a binding contract was that is was under no duress, and this clause appear to be inescapable.

Re:"Remember Facebook" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26901539)

I wouldn't be able to tell you if the provision would hold up in court, I'm not a legal expert by any means. -However-, who is going to challenge them in court? What single user on Facebook besides Zuckerberg himself has enough financial clout to successfully take a Microsoft-backed company to court and -win-? It's the same thing with EULA's, they're counting on two things:

1) you don't read it
2) you can't afford to take them to court over it

Re:"Remember Facebook" (1)

blind biker (1066130) | more than 5 years ago | (#26901421)

I don't even have to remember Facebook - I still remember Facebook Beacon [wikipedia.org] , and it wasn't pretty.

Facebook's policy seems to be: let's try to screw our customers as hard as possible - after all, what other way there is to see how much they'll take? Facebook reminds me of another company with a similar modus operando: Microsoft. Which, perchance, happens to be one of Facebook's largest investors.

Re:"Remember Facebook" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26901631)

What's amazing to me is that the website is still so popular considering all of the other crap they have tried and succeeded in doing.

Are we so quick to forget all of those nonsense apps and the lack of security measures, resulting in people who aren't on your "best friend list" being able to reach all of your information?

What about the cookie that logged all of your browsing "to serve better ads"?

What about the fact that in order to "truly" delete your account you need to lawyer up?
(this may not still be true, I recently shut down my account because I didn't like their privacy policies and ToS... best I can tell I don't show up on their site anymore)

Re:"Remember Facebook" (1)

furby076 (1461805) | more than 5 years ago | (#26902041)

No it hasn't. This isn't the first time a company changed their terms of service and people moaned and cry. Stuff like that has been happening since before the net. The amount of people they will lose is a drop in the bucket. They may change it for now, but they will get what they want.

Then again, there is always the chance that they are doing this because they got feedback from some users requesting this. You know the users who get annoyed their friends messagse got deleted when their friends quit.

Re:"Remember Facebook" (1)

xtracto (837672) | more than 5 years ago | (#26902083)

I agree. I was surprised to see the Facebook issue in the CNN international channel (unfortunately one of the only 2 English speaking channels here in Germany).

The fact that it got the attention from the mainstream press surprised me. I hoped things could go further to a class action lawsuit to test the "validity" of EULAs in general.

Although IANAL I believe that unfortunately it will take one of these big companies to make a precedent of how crazy and unenforceable are some of these license agreements.

Re:"Remember Facebook" (1)

linhares (1241614) | more than 5 years ago | (#26902091)

An important precedent has been set. The uproar created by the community, including some people cancelling their Facebook memberships, caused the Terms of Service to be reverted. We must remember this. It should be a rallying cry: "Remember Facebook".

Perhaps a better strategy is just to update their wikipedia page with this info, fully documented, and keep the fight in there. Companies *detest* criticism in wikipedia. It is, after all, their privacy exposed this time.

Now (1)

Rinisari (521266) | more than 5 years ago | (#26901315)

Now, we should all delete our accounts and threaten to sue Facebook if they don't remove everything we've ever uploaded, including messages and pokes and wall posts sent to other accounts.

That's all the new terms covered: "if you delete your account, we keep all of the stuff you uploaded, but simply mark it in accessible where appropriate so that messages, pokes, wall posts, and media contributed to groups stays in place." That would be a better way to phrase it, but, instead Facebook and every other company has to hide it in silly legalese which is purposefully ambiguous.

Re:Now (1)

furby076 (1461805) | more than 5 years ago | (#26902131)

They also have a clause that allows them to change their TOS without notice to registered or non registered members.
http://www.facebook.com/terms.php [facebook.com]

By accessing or using our web site at www.facebook.com or the mobile version thereof (together the "Site") or by posting a Share Button on your site, you (the "User") signify that you have read, understand and agree to be bound by these Terms of Use ("Terms of Use" or "Agreement"), whether or not you are a registered member of Facebook. We reserve the right, at our sole discretion, to change, modify, add, or delete portions of these Terms of Use at any time without further notice. If we do this, we will post the changes to these Terms of Use on this page and will indicate at the top of this page the date these terms were last revised. Your continued use of the Service or the Site after any such changes constitutes your acceptance of the new Terms of Use. If you do not agree to abide by these or any future Terms of Use, do not use or access (or continue to use or access) the Service or the Site. It is your responsibility to regularly check the Site to determine if there have been changes to these Terms of Use and to review such changes.

So you can sue them all you like, you will lose because their TOS covers them. Their back-peddeling is due to media (don't /.'ers hate the media?) pressure, not legal pressure.

Backpedal (-1, Flamebait)

kokho (1356993) | more than 5 years ago | (#26901319)

Zuckerberg and Co are the biggest backpeddlers on the planet. Grow some balls.

Re:Backpedal (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26901639)

actually, the biggest backpeddler on the planet is Barack Obama.

This is the Internet's version of New Coke (5, Funny)

R2.0 (532027) | more than 5 years ago | (#26901325)

Or boiling the frog. They tried ti implement a controversial change all at once, and it caused a kerfuffle. Now they will ease it in slowly.

I have the feeling that Zuckerberg's girlfriend wasn't real happy when he tried to introduce her to anal sex.

Re:This is the Internet's version of New Coke (4, Funny)

Farmer Tim (530755) | more than 5 years ago | (#26901965)

I have the feeling that Zuckerberg's girlfriend wasn't real happy when he tried to introduce her to anal sex.

"Honey, are the lawyers really necessary?"

"I want to be sure we're doing it right, so I called in the experts".

National attention (2, Insightful)

StarvingSE (875139) | more than 5 years ago | (#26901397)

Facebook had to do some damage control once the national media decided to make a story about it. There was a CNN story yesterday morning warning Facebook users about what the new terms of service meant and what it means to any content they put up on their profiles. I tried searching on youtube but couldn't find a video, unfortunately.

Re:National attention (5, Funny)

JayPee (4090) | more than 5 years ago | (#26901413)

You probably couldn't find the video because it violated the terms of use.

Heyooooooooo

How good was the original ToS? (1)

msgmonkey (599753) | more than 5 years ago | (#26901403)

Call me paranoid and I have n't read the original Facebook ToS but in terms of privacy what does it guarentee exactly? If you want a conspiracy theory, people are now "happy" going back to the origonal ToS so maybe that was the cunning plan after all.

Re:How good was the original ToS? (4, Informative)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 5 years ago | (#26901761)

It was simple - they took the right to reproduce anything you posted - writing, photos, etc. It was non-exclusive. The key was that if you deleted something or left Facebook, those rights were terminated.

The change was that you could not terminate those rights by leaving; they were indefinite. The lawyer-speak used was not clear that the allowed use of your content on facebook was exclusively limited to facebook. Now, that's not a huge deal if you can terminate those rights should they attempt to abuse them. That's a big stick held by the content creator, even in light of the all-encompassing rights they took in order to operate their business (and, technically they needed nearly all those rights to generate the facebook pages without running afoul of copyright law).

By removing the revocation provision, they basically granted themselves perpetual rights to everything. That's a major change. The original TOS had some real safeguards in it, and I read them quite thoroughly when I signed up. This was, dare I say it, the lynchpin of those safeguards - a last, final way to undo what you had done.

Facebook has real copyright issues with the content they manage, and they don't want to set themselves up for a legal collapse. This change would have made the legal side very, very clean for them. And very unbalanced against members.

humanity makes no sense. (2, Interesting)

owlnation (858981) | more than 5 years ago | (#26901425)

While people were right to protest this -- and it's not the first time that Facebook has had to backtrack (probably not the last either), I can't help thinking that this is great effort, wholly misplaced.

The banks, for exampl,e have stolen billions of dollars from all of us. Where's the protest, people? Where's the effort to find out what happened? Where's the organization to make radical change there?

What a terrible waste!

Facebook protesters, learn from this -- if you can achieve this, you can actually make real change in the world -- change that actually matters, not just some trivial thing on a here-today-gone-tomorrow, insubstantial, unimportant, fad website.

Re:humanity makes no sense. (5, Insightful)

GMFTatsujin (239569) | more than 5 years ago | (#26901599)

Think for a moment about the institution you're talking about: something deep-rooted for centuries, penetrating every aspect of western life.

Now think about Facebook. Not even a decade old, and easily replaced.

Which do you think is easier to change with less uproar? Don't magnify the response on Facebook out of proportions: you don't see congressional hearings, massive politicizing, years of debate, marches in front of mansions, and constant media coverage on this admittedly very minor issue.

In other words, the uproar over the banking industry IS THERE. The uproar over the housing crisis IS THERE. The uproar over the fundamentals of the American economy IS THERE. You're not addressing the sheeple you imagine.

You're grandstanding, and it shows, and it doesn't become you.

Re:humanity makes no sense. (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#26901773)

The banks, for exampl,e have stolen billions of dollars from all of us. Where's the protest, people? Where's the effort to find out what happened? Where's the organization to make radical change there?

Take a look at the WTO protests to see how well that works. Consider that Amy Goodman, host of Democracy Now! and a well-known reporter was actually incarcerated for attempting to report on the Republican National Convention [sfgate.com] . The simple truth is that a protest in the streets will not work until the system has crashed because when you start getting masses of asses in the street, the government just brings out the national guard (a state-based military system which I believe is maintained specifically to get around the issue of not being "allowed" to use federal troops against citizens - otherwise it's more efficient to simply operate Nat'l Guard bases as any other Army base) and the fire hoses and the tear gas and the bean bag guns.

If we want to change things, we are going to have to protest through civil disobedience. Marching in the streets requires that a certain percentage of the population gets involved. Until the average citizen starts having to use ration cards for twinkies and doritos and loses their cable television signal, they're going to stay glued to the La-Z-Boy.

Re:humanity makes no sense. (1)

ubercam (1025540) | more than 5 years ago | (#26902165)

I'm not a Facebook user anymore, and frankly I couldn't care less about that awful waste of time.

I deleted my account almost a year ago. Not sure what its like now, but at that time you had to go through all your messages, wall posts that you posted and that others posted on your wall, pictures, etc, etc and delete everything MANUALLY. It took me a couple hours but it was worth it. Only after that would they "deactivate" my account. They NEVER used the word delete in regards to the account itself. You had to actually email them and request it to be deactivated. There was no easy "Delete my Account Permanently" button on their support page or anything. There was something like "Close my Account" that would only remove your account from being seen by others, but you could still log in and reactivate it, and all your old details, friends, wall posts, pictures, etc would still be there just like before. I wanted total annihilation and that involved them removing login permission from my account, effectively deleting it, but I bet it still exists in its entirety somewhere on some random backup tape.

Either way, the most people on Facebook ever do about anything is create a group about whatever it is they are "protesting" about and then forget about it. Nothing realistically will ever get done about this TOS crap. A few people might get all zealous about it, but then, OOOOH! Hold on! It's American Idol time! Right after it's over, they'll be right back online posting the latest gossip on their friends' walls like nothing happened. I mean, giving up your easy source of gossip and event reminders would be a terrible blow to your social life. Can't have that, can we?

The only way to TRULY protest would be to cancel your account like I did, never use it again, and encourage everyone you know to do the same. If, say, 10-20% of Facebook users did that (millions of people), we'd be having a much different conversation, but let's face it, a handful of people cancelling their accounts over the TOS change is not going to get Zuckerberg's attention at all. He couldn't care less. All this is, is just a bit of CYA because the media caught wind of it and blew it up, nothing more.

Why don't... (3, Interesting)

HexOxide (1375611) | more than 5 years ago | (#26901435)

Why don't they just modify the old TOS to say something along the lines of:
"When you delete your account, only your profile content will be deleted."
To cover the issues such as:
If you send a message to a user, and then you delete your account, they don't need to delete the message from you in that person's inbox
Or, if you submitted a picture via the graffiti app etc, they don't need to delete your entry on the other person's profile, etc.

Re:Why don't... (1)

Nukenbar (215420) | more than 5 years ago | (#26901665)

Because with all things legal, it is not that simple.

They may have retained copies of that information in backup copies, or they could be under court order not to destroy information. There is no reason that Facebook should open themselves up to a lawsuit for these reasons alone.

Creative works (4, Informative)

_LORAX_ (4790) | more than 5 years ago | (#26901451)

I didn't have a problem with them retaining phone book information, wall posts, ... my beef was with creative works uploaded. Their land grab on rights in perpetuity was insanity. They could use any image I had uploaded for any purpose including commercial and advertising without any compensation whatsoever. They could sell rights to their image database to publishers, the AP, and others without regard for privacy or payment to me.

Re:Creative works (1)

NoisySplatter (847631) | more than 5 years ago | (#26901985)

I don't understand the problem even with perpetual rights to the creative works you post. A few questions come to mind:

1. Why post them in the first place?

2. If they're photos, why does the horrible quality image that they offer even matter?

3. What else is there if it isn't photos?

They made it worse (2, Interesting)

Zerth (26112) | more than 5 years ago | (#26901469)

Facebook showed fear to users. Never do that.

Now the users will think they can control things.

If they're quick, break out the LARTs, and delete a few thousand accounts(You asked us not to retain your data, you didn't mean right now?), they might get things back under control.

Damn Those Users, Anyway...! (1)

RobotRunAmok (595286) | more than 5 years ago | (#26901737)

Now the users will think they can control things.

"Users?" Are those, like, customers...?

Re:Damn Those Users, Anyway...! (1)

Zerth (26112) | more than 5 years ago | (#26901803)

Facebooks customers are the advertisers, just like TV or Google. Users are the product.

Re:Damn Those Users, Anyway...! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26902031)

It was a sad day to me when I realized this same truth.

captcha: Umbrage

Oh Man! (1)

Cytlid (95255) | more than 5 years ago | (#26901471)

I *just* changed all my pictures to files with the same name, but instead of my pictures, they were a white square with the words "Facebook sucks donkey balls."

Re:Oh Man! (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 5 years ago | (#26901843)

I *just* changed all my pictures to files with the same name, but instead of my pictures, they were a white square with the words "Facebook sucks donkey balls."

No you didn't. Every data file uploaded is assigned a unique large-number filename. Nothing is overwritten.

Big deal about nothing? (2, Insightful)

CXI (46706) | more than 5 years ago | (#26901477)

So, Facebook changes its TOS to be clear that it might still have backups of your data around for a while, and people get MAD?!

"No Facebook, I want you to set it up so if you crash, that's it, all my data is gone for good! That'll teach me!"

Yeah, it didn't say that specifically, but neither, according to TFA, did they explicitly claim ownership.

Re:Big deal about nothing? (5, Informative)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#26901903)

So, Facebook changes its TOS to be clear that it might still have backups of your data around for a while, and people get MAD?!

You're wrong, and stupid too. The TOS said that not only could they keep backups of your data around, but that they could use them for any purpose. They also granted themselves the right to use your image, likeness, and other materials for any purpose. Ostensibly this is for the purpose of advertising facebook. But what you are missing is that facebook is a corporation and corporations never die. When facebook dies it gets bought by someone else who gets all that personal info, and the right to use it for any purpose. 30 years down the road when no one gives one tenth of one shit about facebook, all that personal info could still be used for any purpose including advertising gay porn. (Which mind you, is okay stuff if you want it, but probably not something that most FB users want their picture on. Or in! They have the legal right to filmgimp your face onto a pornstar!

This is not much ado about nothing. If this was only about backups they would only need the right to retain your information indefinitely, and maybe make copies of it. They don't need the right to use that media for any purpose, period the end. They CERTAINLY don't need the right to use your likeness for ANY purpose.

Cowards (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26901483)

Mark Zuckerberg ought to grow a backbone and stick to his word. He can't let the opinions of a bunch of whiny high school kids affect the way he does business! All hail the new Facebook ToS!

No one seems to get this... (5, Insightful)

Zakabog (603757) | more than 5 years ago | (#26901489)

I posted this last time, it seems that no one seems to understand that their ToS change is quite standard.

With respect to text or data entered into and stored by publicly-accessible site features such as forums, comments and bug trackers ("SourceForge Public Content"), the submitting user retains ownership of such SourceForge Public Content; with respect to publicly-available statistical content which is generated by the site to monitor and display content activity, such content is owned by SourceForge. In each such case, the submitting user grants SourceForge the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable, non-exclusive, transferable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, and display such Content (in whole or part) worldwide and/or to incorporate it in other works in any form, media, or technology now known or later developed , all subject to the terms of any applicable license.

Why the knee jerk reaction to facebook having the same policies as slashdot? If you delete your slashdot account, what do you think happens to all of your archived comments?

Re:No one seems to get this... (3, Insightful)

xaxa (988988) | more than 5 years ago | (#26901613)

Because Slashdot and Facebook have different purposes. For instance, I use my real name on Facebook and have photographs and lists of friends.

It would take some effort to find my real name from my Slashdot user ID (not impossible though), and there's only 2 people who's /. ID I know.

Re:No one seems to get this... (1)

Zakabog (603757) | more than 5 years ago | (#26901729)

Because Slashdot and Facebook have different purposes. For instance, I use my real name on Facebook and have photographs and lists of friends.

It would take some effort to find my real name from my Slashdot user ID (not impossible though), and there's only 2 people who's /. ID I know.

...so? There are people who have links to their personal websites in their sig. There are people who use their real name on Slashdot. Also, what about Sourceforge? What if you write some script when you're younger that goes out and actively searches for porn (they exist, and they're not hard to write)? You could have all sorts of contact info on Sourceforge that links you to this script and Sourceforge has the right to keep it up indefinitely.

Maybe one day you decide to become a politician, you might not want that script still floating around with your name on it, in which case you're in pretty much the same boat as if you had stuff you didn't want seen floating around on Facebook. There really isn't any difference, Facebook needs that policy in their ToS to cover their ass if you delete your account but they still want any comments you wrote up. Or if they just have a backup, they need the right to have that information available on their backup server, otherwise you could sue them for having your copyrighted content on one of their computers.

Re:No one seems to get this... (3, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | more than 5 years ago | (#26901621)

I'm not likely to post a work of art on slashdot and intend to sell it later.

Re:No one seems to get this... (1)

NoisySplatter (847631) | more than 5 years ago | (#26901745)

Mostly because the people up in arms about it have no idea what a backup is.

Someone told them the new TOS was bad and they jumped on the bandwagon. I doubt many of them ever read the old one or the new one.

Re:No one seems to get this... (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#26901847)

Why the knee jerk reaction to facebook having the same policies as slashdot? If you delete your slashdot account, what do you think happens to all of your archived comments?

Isn't that a far cry, though [yahoo.com] , from [...] including the option to "use your name, likeness and image for any purpose"?

Slashdot has the first part of the objectionable content of the facebook license, but not the second part. They don't claim the legal right to impersonate you. And as others have pointed out, Slashdot doesn't host images or go out of its way to collect personal information about you. The info collected on slashdot is 100% falsifiable (throwaway email) and everything else is something you had to go seek out - you can create a bio, but you have to go looking for it, for example.

The situation is totally different just based on what kind of material is being submitted, and to not be able to see that is a cry for help (with logic.)

Re:No one seems to get this... (1)

Zakabog (603757) | more than 5 years ago | (#26902213)

Isn't that a far cry, though [yahoo.com] , from [...] including the option to "use your name, likeness and image for any purpose"?

The only difference is that facebook explicitly says they can use your name, likeness and image for any purpose. The sourceforge ToS covers the exact same thing with no clause for the license to ever be revoked.

The info collected on slashdot is 100% falsifiable (throwaway email) and everything else is something you had to go seek out - you can create a bio, but you have to go looking for it, for example.

You mean your facebook account actually has real information about you? I made everything on mine up, the people who know me know it's my facebook and I only created it so they'd stop complaining that I don't have a facebook account. I didn't feel the need to have some page online containing all of my personal information. There's a lot more identifying information about me on slashdot than there is on facebook.

Anyway, facebook is just doing that to legally cover their asses, if slashdot allowed you to upload images then it would be exactly the same situation (they wouldn't even need to change anything as their current clause covers anything you submit to the site, and it applies to all sourceforge owned websites.) Some ad guy at facebook might want to make a little commercial with a couple screenshots of user pages showing what facebook looks like, that is the sort of stuff this clause is most likely going to be used for. That way if you delete your account 5 years from now and that commercial is still playing, you can't sue them for having your page appear in the background and they don't have to worry about keeping track of what they might have used from their site for advertising.

If you really feel that facebook is looking to impersonate than you shouldn't be using their service.

Re:No one seems to get this... (2)

Mordaximus (566304) | more than 5 years ago | (#26902215)

Why the knee jerk reaction to facebook having the same policies as slashdot? If you delete your slashdot account, what do you think happens to all of your archived comments?

The majority of people who contribute on Slashdot are not only tech savvy, but have some understanding of licensing, copyright and the like. We enter in to such agreements knowingly (as far as the IANAL crowd can,) or, if we didn't read an agreement, we know *something* is there.

Most facebook users don't have an earthly clue how much privacy they're trowing away using the service and and completely unaware of what rights they have (or had) and how exactly the new TOS affects them.

The biggest problem for me, isn't as much the new TOS, but the fact that it was changed without notification, and by simply using my account, I've accepted the new TOS. That's plain dirty.

Can they guarantee this? (1)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 5 years ago | (#26901615)

Some part of me thinks guaranteeing that once my account is deleted, Facebook and all its users lose access to them is unrealistic. After all, no ISP can say the same when it comes to email I delete. But I still would like to know what happens to my data once my account is closed. Can they guarantee that it will be gone for good?

But you know what? Facebook and the like will hardly see any of my business from now on.

Signups to Bebo and myspace are up over 200% (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26901627)

Check out their blogs. The people have voted with their feet.

AG

Re:Signups to Bebo and myspace are up over 200% (1)

spacefiddle (620205) | more than 5 years ago | (#26901879)

The people have voted with their feet.

I don't know how you blog, but i think yerdoinitwrong.

Re:Signups to Bebo and myspace are up over 200% (1)

rarel (697734) | more than 5 years ago | (#26902153)

He meant to say, they put their money where their mouse is.

What I find ironic.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26901651)

Is the fact that they used FACEBOOK to protest against FACEBOOK. Am I the only one that finds this ironic?

Start your own social network (1, Interesting)

cryfreedomlove (929828) | more than 5 years ago | (#26901703)

Dear Facebook TOS objectors,

Why don't you stop complaining and simply start your own social network with more user friendly TOS. After all, if Facebook's TOS are as bad as you say, then it should be a walk in the park to get your own social network going where the basis of your differentiation is friendly TOS. You'll be as rich and famous as Zuckerberg. What's stopping you?

Building is harder than whining.

Re:Start your own social network (1)

WagonWheelsRX8 (1282738) | more than 5 years ago | (#26902067)

Yes, building is harder than whining...especially if whining works. I am surprised by the nearly complete change of opinion I see here...the previous article (posted just yesterday) had a great majority of comments criticizing (and rightfully so) the new ToS and especially it's implementation (and even compared how excessively overreaching and draconian they are compared to other, similar competing services). Yet today all I see are people criticizing users for not being happy with a 'standard' ToS. Just because the ToS looks like the 'standard' ToS doesn't necessarily mean business as usual IS best practice...

Re:Start your own social network (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26902101)

Building is harder than whining.

Which is exactly why whining is a good thing. If it takes less effort to force the company to change that it does to start a new company, it's only logical to whine first.

Re:Start your own social network (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26902125)

Ok I will thanks!

Re:Start your own social network (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26902199)

So when people don't protest bad changes in the government, they're lazy bastards; but if they protest bad changes elsewhere, they're whiners that should just break off and start their own group rather than trying to effect change in the group they're involved in? Gotcha.

Facebook has now lost all control (1)

DragonTHC (208439) | more than 5 years ago | (#26901753)

If they are so quick to bow to user pressure, they have no power to make any changes. They have lost control of their enterprise.

Slow down, dammit. (1)

spacefiddle (620205) | more than 5 years ago | (#26901867)

I think it's quite irresponsible of you to post a "never mind" story while we're still commenting on t'other one about the original ToS change. My biting, witty comments and slicing sarcasm are completely wasted on an evaporated situation, and i'm sure there's still hordes of newly-found mod points hunting through the underbrush of the 5-deep nested comments, eyes agleam with fanatical zeal and ready with the Troll stick.

For shame, sir. For shame.

Yeah, i know it's not all really resolved.

Facebook TNG (1)

andrewd18 (989408) | more than 5 years ago | (#26901895)

Personally, I'm upset that they reverted the Facebook ToS change. The modification retconned the timeline with Facebook TNG.
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