“Just kidding,” claims Facebook. “We don’t really OWN your life… yet…”

There has been a lot of buzz lately surrounding Facebook’s changes in its terms of service. Essentially this is what the controversy is about: Earlier this month, Facebook updated its TOS. The new text read as follows:

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 or the promotion thereof subject only to your privacy settings or (ii) enable a user to Post, including by offering a Share Link on your website and (b) to use your name, likeness and image for any purpose, including commercial or advertising, each of (a) and (b) on or in connection with the Facebook Service or the promotion thereof. 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.

Ok, so basically Facebook is free to do whatever they want with my content and there is nothing I can do about it because even if I cancel my account, they still own everything? Sounds pretty sketch to me.

Many other Facebook users felt similarly.  The Daily Dogg’s recent post “Facebook Faces the Music: As the Multitudes Lash Out Over Privacy Infractions, Social Media Giant Reverses Its Policy” pointed out some forms of retaliation from angry Facebook users:

“Thousands of indignant members either canceled their accounts or created online petitions. Among them were more than 64,000 who joined a group called “The People Against the new Terms of Service.”

The Facebook team is now trying to back-step (maybe a little crisis management). They claim that they have listened to the concerns of Facebook users and have revoked the recently modified TOS, for the moment. According to the Daily Dogg’s post:

Earlier this week, Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg tried to quell the controversy by saying the company’s philosophy is that “people own their information and control who they share it with.”

Oh, ok, Mark Zuckerberg. I think I got you. When you say people own their information, by people you mean… You. Right? 

Well maybe, maybe not. As of now, Facebook’s TOS are in limbo as Zuckerberg and his team draft up the proper language for the new terms. Zuckerberg says that the new TOS 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.”

Hmm… Ok, Facebook, if this is really the case then please tell me, as a Facebook user, through what means should I give you my input. Because I have some input. And so do a lot of other users.

I think that the way this controversy plays out has the capacity to make or break Facebook’s success. As much as I love my Facebook, I tend to agree with the tone of Jacob Morgan’s recent post on the subject “Facebook Changes Terms of Services Again- Make Up Your Mind!” He wrote, 

Basically facebook said, “yes we are going to screw you over and keep your content forever…just not yet.” 

Prove me wrong, Facebook! How do you think Facebook is dealing with this controversy? Leave a comment!

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One response to ““Just kidding,” claims Facebook. “We don’t really OWN your life… yet…”

  1. It makes no sense that Facebook would risk messing up a good thing by edging in on people’s intellectual property. They had people’s trust and then they go and risk losing it; not smart.

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