18 Feb 2009, 10:56

Facebook changes terms, then changes them back

We can/can't do what we like with your content

Facebook changed its terms of service this week, but has since changed them back based on feedback from users not happy about the new rules of using the site.

Ch-ch-changes

The problems started when Consumerist picked up the new terms and conditions and read them as: Facebook can do anything with your content. Forever.

The main difference between the old and the new was the removal of the some text after the part specifying that you grant Facebook a licence to copy, publish and store anything you upload onto the site.

This used to be followed by the lines:

"You may remove your User Content from the Site at any time. If you choose to remove your User Content, the license granted above will automatically expire, however you acknowledge that the Company may retain archived copies of your User Content."

Following accusations from concerned users that Facebook could now do what it wanted to anything they upload, Mark Zuckerberg posted a clarification on the official Facebook blog, explaining the reasons for the change:

"Our philosophy is that people own their information and control who they share it with. When a person shares information on Facebook, they first need to grant Facebook a license to use that information so that we can show it to the other people they've asked us to share it with. Without this license, we couldn't help people share that information."

Zuckerberg then went on to say:

"In reality, we wouldn't share your information in a way you wouldn't want. The trust you place in us as a safe place to share information is the most important part of what makes Facebook work."

Take that, rewind it back

However, it doesn't seem to have been enough to call off the mob, and today Facebook reverted to its previous terms that it used before. In another blog post, Zuckerberg said that they were going back to the old terms for now, but these would be replaced again:

"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."

And you thought the old Facebook/new Facebook debate was bad enough.