Facebook Does an About Face
Yielding to pressure from it seems like just about everyone, Facebook is saying that it will make changes to the recent changes in its Terms of Service (TOS) (in other words going back to how it was). The WSJ covers the ‘event’ in their online edition.
The original change was hammered hard in the blogosphere and traditional media outlets. As can happen with news of this nature its rapid spread and the building intensity was enough to have Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg post on his blog:
Going forward, we’ve decided to take a new approach towards developing our terms. We concluded that returning to our previous terms was the right thing for now. As I said yesterday, we think that a lot of the language in our terms is overly formal and protective so we don’t plan to leave it there for long.
His post talks more about the entire situation and gives Facebook’s commitment to changing the terms to what was prior to the Feb. 4th change (a Black Wednesday of sorts?) and to really dig in to what was considered by the Facebook team to be an overly formal document. There is even an invite for involvement by anyone who wants to put in their 2 cents.
So once again we see Facebook try to do some things that simply don’t fly with their users and privacy advocates (remember Beacon?). I guess what we as users of Facebook can take away from this is to keep a close eye on what they are up to. This is a second strike of sorts so they now have the opportunity to take this in one of two directions. They can either work to gain the trust of their users by sitting tight and figuring out how to monetize their deal or they can try to get things past folks again. Maybe because they are so big they don’t feel that people would leave them so they are insulated from a mass exodus. That may be true.