Now this is a good one, and kudos to Marc Rotenberg of EPIC, and all the other groups who pounced on this . The questions of ownership of content and privacy of communication are not just apt for Facebook but for any social media site. These questions also apply to anything posted on Youtube, afterall youtube makes buck off off user content which they get for free, they aren’t getting the content from the big boys for free anymore, unless its a viral marketing move.The really key issue here has to do with psychological boundaries,which are personally defined and applied in various ways in different areas of life. The story you tell your parents, significant other, and closest friends about your summer in Crete, nay be edited to delete items you think might not fit their sensibilities, if you know what I mean, you know, like that stranger, the substances, you get the picture.
Well now if you decided to put some or all of that on Facebook and oops after you sobered up you realized that was a bad idea, to bad.So don’t be to personal with your so called friends, one of them might not be your friend one day. In fact its been rumored that sometimes people to things to hurt other people by making things up, and I have even heard that some people try to damage other peoples reputations by making false accusations, this is starting to sound like a country western song.
Addtionally, and this is really the point for those who want their ideas acknoledged or even, heaven forbid paid for, anything you put up unless this is corrected, belongs to the site not you. You think its your content but once posted it belongs to the site? I guess I better copywrite those good ideas of mine.See Creative Commoms Its about time this issue got surfaced , lets see what happens. Open source my ass, open source for Facebook,not for you.How are artists to survive if their content can simply be taken, without compensation. Pay attention this is isn’t over.
Facebook Withdraws Changes in Data Use
By BRAD STONE and BRIAN STELTER
Facebook, the popular social networking site where people share photos and personal updates with friends and acquaintances, lost some face on Wednesday.
After three days of pressure from angry users and the threat of a formal legal complaint by a coalition of consumer advocacy groups, the company reversed changes to its contract with users that had appeared to give it perpetual ownership of their contributions to the service.
Facebook disavowed any such intentions but said early Wednesday that it was temporarily rescinding the changes and restoring an earlier version of its membership contract.
In a message to members, the company, based in Palo Alto, Calif., said it would collaborate with users to create a more easily understandable document.
Facebook’s chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, also invited users to contribute to a new Bill of Rights and Responsibilities, which would serve as a governing document for the site. Facebook has been redefining notions of privacy while growing so rapidly that it now has 175 million active users, giving it a population larger than most countries.
In an interview, Chris Kelly, Facebook’s chief privacy officer, characterized the event as a misunderstanding, stemming from a clumsy attempt by the company to simplify its contract with users, called the terms of service.
“We were not trying to make a substantive change in our rights or ability to control our members’ content on the service at all,” Mr. Kelly said. “As that misunderstanding became the main theme, we became very concerned and wanted to communicate very clearly to everyone our intentions by rolling back to the old terms of service.”
Facebook’s retreat ends a hullabaloo in which tens of thousands of Facebook members joined groups devoted to protesting the changes and bloggers heaped scorn and criticism on the company. Facebook sought to limit the damage from an uproar that in many ways was reminiscent of the flap in 2007 over its Beacon advertising service.
That project shared details of members’ activities on certain outside sites to all of their Facebook friends. The Electronic Privacy Information Center, along with 25 other consumer interest groups, had planned to file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission on Wednesday. The complaint was going to claim that Facebook’s new rules were unfair and deceptive trade practices, because the company had repeatedly promised users that they owned their content but appeared to be saying something else in its revised terms.
The center, based in Washington, was prepared to argue that Facebook’s new rules were meant to accompany changes to the site that would give developers and advertisers the ability to access users’ contributions, like status updates, which many members use to reveal details about their lives, for example, where they are traveling.
“This was a digital rights grab,” said Marc Rotenberg, the center’s executive director. “Facebook was transferring control of user-generated content from the user to Facebook, and that was really alarming.”
He said Facebook representatives contacted him on Tuesday night to ask whether his group would refrain from filing the complaint if the company backtracked to the old language in the contract. Mr. Rotenberg agreed.
Facebook’s retreat can also be credited to the mass of members who made their voices heard in a strikingly vociferous movement that spanned the globe.
Facebook made the changes to its terms of service on Feb. 6, but they were highlighted Sunday by a blog called The Consumerist, which reviewed the contract. The blog, which is owned by Consumers Union, publisher of Consumer Reports, warned people to “never upload anything you don’t feel comfortable giving away forever, because it’s Facebook’s now.”
Mr. Kelly of Facebook says that the blog made “substantial misinterpretations,” including missing a crucial provision that made Facebook’s license to members’ material subject to the user’s individual privacy settings. He conceded, however, that Facebook did not effectively communicate that nuance.
The Consumerist blog entry set off an explosion of activity that overwhelmed Facebook’s own attempts to quickly clarify the matter. In a blog post on Monday, Mr. Zuckerberg tried to reassure users that they still owned and controlled their own data and that the company had no plans to use it without their permission.
That did not satisfy Facebook users like Julius Harper, 25. On Monday, he created a Facebook group to protest the changes. Soon after, he joined with Anne Kathrine Petteroe, 32, a technology consultant in Oslo, who had started a similar group.
By Wednesday, more than 100,000 people had joined their efforts and were airing their concerns, like whether photos they post to the site could appear in ads without their permission.
“I believe Facebook on this matter, but my issue is that Facebook is not just one person,” Mr. Harper said. “They could get bought out by anybody, and those people may not share the good intentions that Mark and his team claim to have.”
Analysts say that much of the confusion and rancor this week stemmed from the fact that sites like Facebook have created a new sphere of shared information for which there are no established privacy rules.
E-mail between two people is private, for example, and a post on a message board is clearly public. But much communication among Facebook members, which is exposed only to their friends, sometimes on a so-called wall, lies in a middle ground one might call “semipublic.”
“If I post something on your wall, and then I decide to close my account, what happens to that wall post?” said Marcia Hofmann, a lawyer with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, an Internet civil liberties group. “Is that my data or your data? That’s a very tricky issue, and it’s one that hasn’t come up a whole lot in the past.”