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Facebook Reverts ToS Change After User Uproar 260

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the what-we-meant-was dept.
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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Facebook Reverts ToS Change After User Uproar

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  • huhu (Score:5, Funny)

    by softwave (145750) <david,coppens&advalvas,be> on Wednesday February 18, 2009 @09:01AM (#26901241)

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

    • Facebook? Friendface? Nah, it's all about NotADouche [notadouche.com] these days.
  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Wednesday February 18, 2009 @09:02AM (#26901257) Journal
    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.
    • by Firethorn (177587) on Wednesday February 18, 2009 @09:09AM (#26901335) Homepage Journal

      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.

      • by nettdata (88196) on Wednesday February 18, 2009 @09:32AM (#26901569) Homepage

        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: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by genner (694963)

          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.

          • by QuoteMstr (55051) <dan.colascione@gmail.com> on Wednesday February 18, 2009 @10:30AM (#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.

            • by genner (694963)

              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.

              I think someone also said something about not wishing they had spent more time in the office before they die. This is true regardless of how stupid your job is.

        • by furby076 (1461805) on Wednesday February 18, 2009 @09:55AM (#26901799) Homepage

          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.

        • by bwalling (195998) on Wednesday February 18, 2009 @10:06AM (#26901927) Homepage

          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.

        • by pcgabe (712924) on Wednesday February 18, 2009 @10:18AM (#26902063) Homepage Journal

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

      • "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: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by conlaw (983784)

        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.

      • Never underestimate the ignorance of many lawyer types.

        I think the issue here is that this is situation lawyers seldom encounter. Namley it is a software that facilitiates mass communications. The exponent on the geometric progression of linkages here is a lot higher than for a telephone or even an e-mail mass mailer.

        So when people are upset facebook gives them the tools to create an enlerging consensus of upset people with pitch forks.

        This is really a new pardigm. The lawyers are not so much ignorant as unable to predict what would happen.

        Be sure to tag thi

    • by Culture20 (968837) on Wednesday February 18, 2009 @09:44AM (#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.

    • by genner (694963)

      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: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Bieeanda (961632)
      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.
    • by Anonymous Conrad (600139) on Wednesday February 18, 2009 @09:58AM (#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.

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

        Free Nationwide Press Coverage?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by srmalloy (263556)

      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.

      If the reason for the change was to prevent them from having to do something manpower-intensive whenever a user leaves and closes their page, I can see the reason for it, but the TOS change was worded badly. For example, Facebook makes an advertising image that is a montage of user pages, one of which is User X's page. User X closes their Facebook page and deletes their content. Under the old TOS, Facebook would have to go through all of their promotional material every time a user left to make sure none of

  • 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: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by WmLGann (1143005)

      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... (Score:4, Informative)

        by warrax_666 (144623) on Wednesday February 18, 2009 @09:25AM (#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.

    • by superskippy (772852) on Wednesday February 18, 2009 @09:14AM (#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: (Score:3, Informative)

        by ByOhTek (1181381)

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

        They are loaded with advertisements.

      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        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

      • by MBGMorden (803437)

        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.

  • by NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) * <ray.beckermanlegal@com> on Wednesday February 18, 2009 @09:04AM (#26901281) Homepage Journal
    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".
    • by R2.0 (532027) on Wednesday February 18, 2009 @09:10AM (#26901347)

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

      Well played, sir!

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      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

      • by HexOxide (1375611) on Wednesday February 18, 2009 @09:24AM (#26901479) Journal
        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.
    • 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.

    • by furby076 (1461805)
      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.
    • by linhares (1241614)

      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.

    • cancelling facebook?

      given how this company thinks, I will never CREATE an entry for myself there. I've gotton by just fine (thanks) so far without FB and I think I've decided to 'give it a miss' and just not be part of this whole charade.

      this is a good thing. I'm glad it caused people to think a bit. we need more of that.

    • by WebCowboy (196209) on Wednesday February 18, 2009 @12:02PM (#26903437)

      ...and THAT is why Facebook, or big "social networking" websites in general, have any relevance whatsoever.

      The Internet, and especially the WWW, were supposed to enable ordinary people to publish their own information without influence and control of "big content providers". It was supposed to be the biggest revolution in publishing since Gutenberg's press--not only were books accessible to the masses, not the masses could publish THEIR OWN information!

      What happened to this revolution? The technology is still there, but not only have we not progressed, we've SLID BACKWARDS! We've all abdicated our rights to and responsibilities for our own information to a small handful of very large corporate entities...and then we bitch and moan when those "big content providers" do exactly what we should have expected they'd do with your information--retain it, profit from it, and generally be careless with it.

      That's NOT what the 'net was supposed to be about! We were supposed to "rent the pipes" and storage space like we do our phone lines and self-storage garages and then publish our data ourselves. I was thrilled when DSL came to the market here 12 years ago, followed quickly by broadband from the local cable companies. I was able to get internet connectivity 24/7! Now I only needed to "rent the pipe" and I could have even MORE control over how I published by info because I could RUN MY OWN SERVER!

      It was looking to me like the dawn of a new era--anyone who wanted to could set up their own little server and run their own websites easier than ever before--the BBS world would be able to move forward from the domain of geeks with extra phone lines and modems to something more graphical and interconnected and "plug and play". People were taking about "internet appliances" and I assumed that as time went on that *two way* appliances would become ubiquitous.

      It hasn't happened that way though. There seems to be this insistence that "internet appliances" be one-way client-only devices--merely enhanced TVs and radios where some big network can push information to us as THEY see fit. ISPs have further RESTRICTED the ability to host your own services instead of expanding that ability (primarily because the biggest ISPs are now owned by content publishers). And not only has the old school personal/small community-oriented BBS gone essentially extinct, so have REAL personal websites before they got a chance to really gain traction. We've DEVOLVED from publishing HTML documents on our local ISP's web servers to doing the same on global "web hosts" like Geocities to setting up blogs on global blogging sites to setting up groups on Facebook.

      Facebook isn't an ISP, they are yet another traditional media publisher--we give our info away to them and they publish it as they see fit...just as how Old Media works. I suppose I always underestimate people's capacity for laziness or ignorance in this regard. It seems people just don't "get it", or maybe they just don't care. Whatever happened though, the 'net hasn't turned out the way I thought it would, and no amount of changes to the ToS of Facebook or similar sites will fix what is, in my view, the entirely wrong direction for the WWW.

  • by Rinisari (521266) *

    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 compan

    • by furby076 (1461805)
      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.

  • by R2.0 (532027) on Wednesday February 18, 2009 @09:08AM (#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.

  • National attention (Score:3, Insightful)

    by StarvingSE (875139) on Wednesday February 18, 2009 @09:15AM (#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.

  • 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.

    • by Overzeetop (214511) on Wednesday February 18, 2009 @09:51AM (#26901761) Journal

      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.

  • 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 actu
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by EmperorKagato (689705)

      Why don't you lead?

    • by GMFTatsujin (239569) on Wednesday February 18, 2009 @09:35AM (#26901599) Homepage

      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.

      • You're not addressing the sheeple you imagine.

        I suspect he is. That's not a slam, just a recognition of the human condition.

        The problem with sheep isn't only that they are easily herded but that they have short memories too. You can occasionally freak out the herd and make them break ranks but as soon as order is restored they forget about it. That's effectively how humans handle crises though the time frame is larger than with sheep.

        The difference between something like Facebook and the banking system

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      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

    • by ubercam (1025540)

      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 t

  • Why don't... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by HexOxide (1375611) on Wednesday February 18, 2009 @09:19AM (#26901435) Journal
    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.
  • Creative works (Score:5, Informative)

    by _LORAX_ (4790) on Wednesday February 18, 2009 @09:21AM (#26901451) Homepage

    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.

    • 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 (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Zerth (26112) on Wednesday February 18, 2009 @09:23AM (#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.

  • by Cytlid (95255)

    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."

    • by Culture20 (968837)

      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.

  • by CXI (46706) on Wednesday February 18, 2009 @09:24AM (#26901477) Homepage

    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.

    • by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Wednesday February 18, 2009 @10:04AM (#26901903) Homepage Journal

      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.

      • by u8i9o0 (1057154)

        Sometimes we are blessed with the opportunity to provide real world examples [smh.com.au].

        In the case of FaceBook, the user grants certain content usage rights to FaceBook (presumably to advertise FaceBook itself).
        In the linked example above, the user granted Creative Commons licensing to everyone.
        Technically different, but it seems similar enough to properly illustrate your point.

        By the way, this [internetcases.com] seems to be a follow up on that example.
        The lesson: you give your privacy away, others will take it.

      • by CXI (46706)
        Take a deep breath, calm down a minute, and stop attributing malice due to not understanding fully.

        http://www.thestandard.com/news/2009/02/16/facebook-we-have-never-claimed-ownership-members-content [thestandard.com]
      • The first thing I thought of when I heard that Facebook was giving themselves the right to "sublicense" the content was the Virgin Mobile ad [switched.com] awhile back. An ad agency took a photo from Flickr without the user's permission and without a consent from the girl in the photo. They then used it in a series of ads that the girl and her family found offensive. Virgin Mobile was sued as a result.

        Now, supposed this happened with Facebook under the new TOS. I take a photo of someone and post it on my Facebook page

  • by Zakabog (603757) <john.jmaug@com> on Wednesday February 18, 2009 @09:24AM (#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?

    • by xaxa (988988) on Wednesday February 18, 2009 @09:36AM (#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.

      • by Zakabog (603757)

        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 wa

    • by Hatta (162192) on Wednesday February 18, 2009 @09:39AM (#26901621) Journal

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

      • by Zakabog (603757)

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

        You might want to do that on Freshmeat, which is also covered under the same ToS.

    • 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.

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      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

      • by Zakabog (603757)

        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 m

        • by drinkypoo (153816)

          You mean your facebook account actually has real information about you?

          I don't remember if I even have one. I probably do. If it has information about me, it's probably real but fairly harmless.

          I actually like it that people can find me. No one in my past who has troubled me is much of a concern to me today, but occasionally someone I care about finds me because it's easy. (For instance, my prolific posting history here and my contributions to Everything2 both have my real name on them - On E2, through my profile.)

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

          I didn't feel that facebook would impersonate me until they gra

    • 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,

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Personally, I'm upset that they reverted the Facebook ToS change. The modification retconned the timeline with Facebook TNG.
  • May I point out that the Slashdot "they're a private company, they can do whatever they want and you have no recourse but to suck it up" crowd has been proven wrong once again. Community organization and political action has once again carried the day.

  • The explanation they posted to users makes sense: that the type of content they wanted to consider perpetually theirs for use was information you (the Facebook user) posted to another Facebook user's wall, or to a group discussion, or something along those lines. That would be a reasonable expectation for any user of an online service.

    My main gripe was that, if taken as written, the 2/4/09 TOS left users totally stowed--there was no clarification as to the types of information they intended to keep. Whil

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