Furore over new Facebook content terms

Company has the right to use material even from deactivated accounts

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By  Vineetha Menon Published  February 17, 2009

Fans of the social networking giant Facebook are upset over new terms of service (TOS) that sees the company claiming ownership of content, even if users terminate their accounts.

Earlier terms stated that any uploaded user content such as photos, notes and personal information would automatically expire once an account was closed.

The company announced the changes to its TOS in a blog post dated February 4, which went relatively unnoticed until other bloggers and news media sites picked up on what it entailed.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, addressed the issue today using an analogy that referred to the permanency of e-mails.

“When a person shares something like a message with a friend, two copies of that information are created—one in the person's sent messages box and the other in their friend's inbox. Even if the person deactivates their account, their friend still has a copy of that message,” Zuckerberg writes.

“We think this is the right way for Facebook to work, and it is consistent with how other services like email work,” he added.

Facebook clarified that it will still respect user privacy settings and won’t share content that has been specifically tagged as private or limited to a certain friend network.

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