What Facebook's Users Want In The Next Terms Of Service

Now that Facebook has said they’re drafting a new Terms of Service based on community input, that community has eagerly put forth their proposals in the Facebook Bill of Rights and Responsibilities Facebook group. Forum admin Julius Harper went through the 27 pages of feedback and pulled out the three major areas the community seemed most concerned about. Here’s what the people are demanding:

“Forever” won’t work: Facebook’s use of our content has to have clear limits.

* If I do not wish any of my content to be used for commercial purposes, or submitted to 3rd parties, I should be able to select this in my Privacy settings. Also, I should always be informed what 3rd parties my content is sent to.
* Facebook’s use of my content should be subject to an easy-to-understand license, like Creative Commons, which lets me maintain ownership and control.
* If I post or upload any piece of content to Facebook, their license to use that content should expire the moment I delete it. If I close my account, all of my content should be deleted off of Facebook’s network.

Opt-in only: Facebook can’t just change the terms whenever they want.

* If Facebook updates its Terms of Use, it should be done in a way that’s open, obvious and highly visible to everyone. Post it at the top of the site and/or send an e-mail… updating a blog on an obscure part of the website doesn’t work.
* Users should be notified of changes to the ToU ahead of time, so they can decide whether they want to continue to use Facebook or to close their account.
* If Facebook really wants to test user response to any new policy changes, they should submit them to a vote before implementation.

Write it in English: No legalese (or Latin!) please.

* Facebook’s previous Terms of Service included highly technical legal language and even Latin. This needs to be changed. I’m not sure what forum non conveniens means and I shouldn’t have to.

Sound pretty reasonable to me. The question is how the social network will react. Having put their rep on the line, how far will Facebook go to listen to its community?

Facebook Reverts Back To Old Terms Of Service
Facebook Privacy Fallout Goes Nuclear
Facebook Clarifies Terms Of Service: “We Do Not Own Your Stuff Forever”
Facebook’s New Terms Of Service: “We Can Do Anything We Want With Your Content. Forever.”

(Photo: missbossy) (image inspired by this)

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