Facebook gets democratic – encourages voting on terms of service

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Following last week’s kerfuffle involving Facebook, its terms of service update and the subsequent rolling back of said update, the site’s been very careful about how it communicates with the public. On CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s blog today, he’s announced a new approach to how the site is run.

First of all he’s published two documents. There’s a set of Facebook Principles, and a Statement of Rights and Responsibilities, the latter of which will replace the existing terms of service document. However, they’re not in force yet.

Zuckerberg wants you, if you’re a Facebook user, to go through and read both documents and comment on the changes. Any controversial sections will go up for a vote. It’s an interesting approach for the site, which has been stung by criticism in the past for not listening to its users.

Hopefully the community can come to some kind of agreement with the site’s lawyers, and a compromise can be found. The worst case scenario here is that no agreement gets reached, and the site is stuck with its existing ToS. That wouldn’t be good for anyone.

Facebook rolls back terms of service change


Following massive user outcry over the changes to Facebook’s terms of service yesterday, the company is rolling back the alteration for the time being. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the update-to-the-update in a blog post on the Facebook website:

“A couple of weeks ago, we revised our terms of use hoping to clarify some parts for our users. Over the past couple of days, we received a lot of questions and comments about the changes and what they mean for people and their information. Based on this feedback, we have decided to return to our previous terms of use while we resolve the issues that people have raised.”

Facebook began by polling users over the changes, with 56 percent opposing, 6 percent supporting, and 38 percent clicking “I don’t know”, according to Mashable. Zuckerberg has now reverted the changes, and is inviting users to a group called Facebook Bill of Rights and Responsibilities to discuss how to take things forward. At the time of writing, 12,000 members have taken him up on the offer, but expect that to rise rapidly as the news spreads today.

(via Mashable)