Facebook relents amid backlash over terms

Returns to previous terms of service and encourages user involvement to shape policies

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By  Vineetha Menon Published  February 18, 2009

Chalk one up for the power of the people! Facebook has now decided to revert back to its previous terms of service (TOS) after users criticised new policies that stated the company owned content from deactivated accounts.

Facebook announced changes to its TOS on February 4th sparking global concerns on privacy and ownership of content. CEO Mark Zuckerberg went on record yesterday to say that the terms were no different from how email services work.

Relenting to public backlash, Facebook has now decided to return to earlier terms where uploaded user content such as photos, notes and personal information would automatically expire once an account was closed. This will remain until new terms can be worked out with the help of all users, which is expected to be completed over the next few weeks.

“Our terms aren't just a document that protect our rights; it's the governing document for how the service is used by everyone across the world. Given its importance, we need to make sure the terms reflect the principles and values of the people using the service,” Zuckerberg wrote in his latest blog post.

“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,” he added.

Users are invited to get involved by joining the Facebook Bill of Rights and Responsibilities group.

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