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 Facebook: Controversy over terms

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emilycross
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PostSubject: Facebook: Controversy over terms   Wed Feb 18, 2009 2:43 pm

So many of us click 'i accept' without even looking at the t&C - not to sound 1984 ish but has anyone heard about facebook changing their terms and conditions?

Heres a snippet from an article

"In an about-face following a torrent of online protests, Facebook is backing off a change in its user policies while it figures how best to resolve questions like who controls the information shared on the social networking site.

The site, which boasts 175 million users from around the world, had quietly updated its terms of use - its governing document - a couple of weeks ago. The changes sparked an uproar after popular consumer rights advocacy blog Consumerist.com pointed them out Sunday, in a post titled "Facebook's New Terms Of Service: 'We Can Do Anything We Want With Your Content. Forever."'

Facebook has since sought to reassure its users - tens of thousands of whom had joined protest groups on the site - that this is not the case. And on Wednesday morning, users who logged on to Facebook were greeted by a message saying that the site is reverting to its previous terms of use policies while it resolves the issues raised.

Facebook spelled out, in plain English rather than the legalese that prompted the protests, that it "doesn't claim rights to any of your photos or other content. We need a license in order to help you share information with your friends, but we don't claim to own your information."

Tens of thousands of users joined protest groups on Facebook, saying the new terms grant the site the ability to control their information forever, even after they cancel their accounts.

This prompted a clarification from Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook's founder, who told users in a blog post Monday that "on Facebook, people own their information and control who they share it with."

Zuckerberg, who started Facebook while still in college, also acknowledged that a "lot of the language in our terms is overly formal and protective of the rights we need to provide this service to you."

But this wasn't enough to quell user protests, and the site also created a group called "Facebook Bill of Rights and Responsibilities," designed to let users give input on Facebook's terms of use. It also apologized for what it called "the confusion around these issues."

"We never intended to claim ownership over people's content even though that's what it seems like to many people," read a post from Facebook on the bill of rights page.

The latest controversy was not the first between the rapidly growing site and its users over its five-year history.

In late 2007, a tracking tool called "Beacon" caught users off-guard by broadcasting information about their shopping habits and activities at other Web sites. After initially defending the practice, Facebook ultimately allowed users to turn Beacon off. A redesign of the site last year also prompted thousands to protest, but in that case Facebook kept its new look.

Palo Alto, Calif.-based Facebook is privately held. Microsoft Corp. bought a 1.6 percent stake in the company in 2007 for $240 million as part of a broader advertising partnership."


there's a huge controversy brewing about the site's new terms-of-use agreement, which now gives Facebook ownership of any information placed on the site. To borrow a phrase from "Brokeback Mountain," "I can't quit you" and it turns out that it's not going to be so easy to quit Facebook, either. In other words, long after you've closed your Facebook profile and moved onto LinkedIn or whatever the next big networking site turns out to be, Facebook still will own that racy photo shot during spring break.

The new language reads in part, "You hereby grant Facebook an irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive, transferable, fully paid, worldwide license (with the right to sublicense) to (a) use, copy, publish, stream, store, retain, publicly perform or display, transmit, scan, reformat, modify, edit, frame, translate, excerpt, adapt, create derivative works and distribute (through multiple tiers), any User Content you (i) Post on or in connection with the Facebook Service . . . "


Its a scary world we live in. . . .

anyone else getting the sense of a book idea coming on? Laughing

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PostSubject: Re: Facebook: Controversy over terms   Wed Feb 18, 2009 2:59 pm

Dude. So, facebook was all like "Sorry the legalese was so confusing, we didn't mean it" but their "confusion" seems pretty obvious to me. They own us.

Which is WHY you never never never post anything you don't want to exist forever on the internet.

I read somewhere that employers will go and look up applicants for a job and try and find their myspace and facebook. I have heard of make-or-break situations where an aspiring employee was turned down because he or she had drunk pictures up on facebook/myspace/randomsocialnetworkingsite.

So. Basically. The internet is more eternal than vampires.

Don't like it? DONT. PUT. IT. UP!

It will never go away.

Personally, it kind of scares me, but, welcome to the Digital Age.

Ooo, freedom versus privacy! If they are mutually exclusive, which would you prefer?

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PostSubject: Re: Facebook: Controversy over terms   Wed Feb 18, 2009 3:07 pm

I know!! i don't have anything on myspace/facebook (mainly cause i'm an idiot and don't know how to work it) - but i'm sure blogs work the same way too! and i'm on bebo (and sweet lord - i'll never be employed if they look at those photos)

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PostSubject: Re: Facebook: Controversy over terms   Wed Feb 18, 2009 3:09 pm

I'm tame enough that the scariest pictures floating around out there are of me dressed up as Victoria for the release of Stephenie Meyer's Breaking Dawn. So as long as I can assure them I'm only eccentric and not crazy... I should be okay.

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PostSubject: Re: Facebook: Controversy over terms   Wed Feb 18, 2009 3:12 pm

I'm soooo glad now i didn't post up some of my more awful and dare i say raunchy pics but on bebo there is an author section where people can set up pages for their book and post chapters and get fans etc. if bebo changed their T&C would that be their books gone? scary

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PostSubject: Re: Facebook: Controversy over terms   Wed Feb 18, 2009 6:58 pm

Ren wrote:
Which is WHY you never never never post anything you don't want to exist forever on the internet.

Amen. The rules of who can share what with who don't bother me, because I just never, ever put anything out that I wouldn't share with anyone anyway. Its like lending a friend money. Don't do it if getting paid back is important to you.
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PostSubject: Re: Facebook: Controversy over terms   Wed Feb 18, 2009 8:41 pm

I never really paid attention, but then again I don't just randomly post things up that I don't want others seeing. So yeah, I guess some people, especially teens, don't think much about what they're doing. People will find it one way or another someday.
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PostSubject: Re: Facebook: Controversy over terms   Wed Feb 18, 2009 9:24 pm

I didn't post anything awkward, but a friend tagged me in a couple of pictures from my 21st. How do I un-tag myself without offending her for life?
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PostSubject: Re: Facebook: Controversy over terms   Wed Feb 18, 2009 11:32 pm

I untagged myself. Does it even send a message to the person when you untag someone? I know it does if they tag someone in your photo. Not sure about the other. And I'm a big fan of honesty and stuff, so I would personally just say I wouldn't want any employers finding those pictures. I don't know any nicer ways that the truth. At least for me. Smile Hope that helps!

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PostSubject: Re: Facebook: Controversy over terms   Thu Feb 19, 2009 2:46 am

I don't understand tagging at all - but what frightens me (and i know some people who do this) is posting pictures of their children on the internet. I know they are just showing people their lovely kids to family and friends but God only knows whose looking at them as well?

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PostSubject: Re: Facebook: Controversy over terms   Thu Feb 19, 2009 7:51 am

I've thought a lot about that, because I wanted to put pictures of my baby on facebook for friends and family to see - especially my mom, who is far away and sad that she's missing stuff. What it came down to, for me, is that its really no different than going out into public with my baby. Let's say I'm in the airport, there are all kinds of strangers out there who will see my baby that I just can't control. I've kinda consciously chosen to not be overly worried about it.
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PostSubject: Re: Facebook: Controversy over terms   Thu Feb 19, 2009 8:45 am

Emily - tagging is so you can put up a picture of a friend, and that friend can find the picture. Also, people looking for pictures of that friend can find the one you put up of her. (I think that's what you asked me.) It's a good organizational tool, but the caveat is that... the photos are posted. So, untagging yourself means that anyone looking for photos of you will not find that picture, unless they go through the poster's album directly.

iHeart - One thing I've always liked about facebook, as opposed to myspace, is the privacy level. Mine is very high. Normally it's set so you can search anyone and add them as a friend. Anyone in your networks can see your full profile without adding you as a friend. Mine's set up so anyone outside my network can't even find me via search, and anyone inside my network, even people who have mutual friends in common, have to request friendship before they can see my profile. I'm a little paranoid. But, in today's world, maybe that's a good thing. Who knows.

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PostSubject: Re: Facebook: Controversy over terms   Thu Feb 19, 2009 10:27 am

Ren - I've got mine set up the same. Only approved friends can see my profile and pictures and all of that. That means only technically savvy creeps can get to my information and do bad things with it. Laughing
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PostSubject: Re: Facebook: Controversy over terms   Thu Feb 19, 2009 1:16 pm

Thanks Ren!

I suppose another way iheart is to email the photos to your mom? aw i guess i'm paranoid sort Laughing

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PostSubject: Re: Facebook: Controversy over terms   Thu Feb 19, 2009 3:04 pm

iHeart wrote:
Ren - I've got mine set up the same. Only approved friends can see my profile and pictures and all of that. That means only technically savvy creeps can get to my information and do bad things with it. Laughing

I'm optimistic that tech-savvy creeps have better things to do like hack into federal computers. If they really wanted into a facebook, they'd go for an easy one. That, and I don't know any tech savvy creeps, so I dont think anyone's gunning for mine in particular. I hope. Gulp.

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PostSubject: Re: Facebook: Controversy over terms   Thu Feb 19, 2009 8:56 pm

I've put most people in the limited profile list -- no pictures, and only very very close friends can see the full profile. So I'm hoping that would be enough.
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