Facebook yields to user outrage, reverts to old terms of service

Editor’s Note: The following article is reprinted from the Today @ PC World blog at PCWorld.com.

Amid user revolt, Facebook backed away from a newly implemented terms of service that many considered a privacy violation. On Tuesday night, Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg said the company would revert back to the previous version of its terms of service that "everybody can understand."

Zuckerberg explained in a blog post: "Over the past few days, we have received a lot of feedback about the new terms we posted two weeks ago. Because of this response, we have decided to return to our previous Terms of Use while we resolve the issues that people have raised."

Facebook had updated its terms of service earlier this month. The change went largely unnoticed until last weekend when bloggers caught wind of the change. The details were highlighted in an extremely popular blog at the Consumerist Web site where people felt Facebook's new terms of service meant "anything you upload to Facebook can be used by Facebook in any way they deem fit, forever, no matter what you do later."

In a blog post on Tuesday, Zuckerberg had attempted to calm privacy fears explaining that the terms of service were originally revised so that Facebook had the right to share your information with your Facebook friends. Zuckerberg went on to say that Facebook would not, in practice, "share your information in a way you wouldn't want." That didn't satisfy thousands of Facebook users who protested the change calling Zuckerberg's explanation unclear.

After the uproar, Facebook did an about-face on Tuesday night and said it would revert the terms of service back to its previous version. However, Zuckerberg did say Facebook is working on a terms of service update.

"If you'd like to get involved in crafting our new terms... you can start posting your questions, comments and requests in the group we've created—Facebook Bill of Rights and Responsibilities," he wrote. "I'm looking forward to reading your input."

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