Facebook has done a back flip of sorts, deciding to roll back recent changes to its TOS that caused widespread web outrage.
As I noted on the subject February 16, the change that caused the outcry wasn’t that significant; the change only extended existing TOS rights over all content on Facebook to content from account holders who had quit the service. Archive rights is one way of describing it. To me, that change makes no difference, because it was the TOS to begin with which was where I objected, and many others have, the archive rights only served to highlight the flaws.
The key with the backflip is to not be fooled. Some are already calling this a user led victory, but the only difference today is that Facebook can’t resell your content if you quit the site, and lets face it, how many people are going to quit the currently most popular social networking site on the planet? The crux of the problem remains: Facebook claiming full rights to do as they please with your content.
Mark Zuckerberg has admitted now that it’s the base of the TOS itself that many are concerned about, and to his credit has committed Facebook to a review of the now returned old TOS:
Our next version will be a substantial revision from where we are now. It will reflect the principles I described yesterday around how people share and control their information, and it will be written clearly in language everyone can understand. Since this will be the governing document that we’ll all live by, Facebook users will have a lot of input in crafting these terms.
It’s important that people continue the pressure on Facebook and don’t stop protesting now that Facebook has backflipped on the most recent change. Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook have been, as always dragged kicking and screaming to this point (only Monday Zuckerberg was claiming there was nothing wrong, and that people should trust Facebook to do the right thing by them) and pulling back the pressure at this point could well result in no further changes being made.