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Facebook Flips

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Looks like the public outrage and pressure has caused Facebook to do a turn around on their recent change in their Terms of Service that caused such a frenzy online earlier this week.

From the Wall Street Journal:

“Yielding to pressure from its users and privacy advocates, Facebook Inc. Tuesday night backed away from controversial changes to its terms of use that some had decried as giving the social network too much leeway with users’ personal information.

Just a day after standing by the revisions, the company said it would scrap the new policy and return to its previous terms of service in a notice to its 175 million users on its Web site.

“Over the past couple of days, we have received a lot of questions and comments about these updated terms and what they mean for people and their information,” read the statement, which Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg expanded upon in a blog post. “Because of the feedback we received, we have decided to return to our previous Terms of Use while we resolve the issues that people have raised.”

He added that the company would work on a “substantial revision” of the terms and give Facebook users a role in crafting it by voicing their opinions through a group on its Web site, “Facebook Bill of Rights and Responsibilities.”

The retreat comes after users and privacy professionals raised concerns about changes the company made to its terms of service a few weeks ago but that drew fresh attention from some blogs over the weekend. In particular, Facebook’s new policy said that its right to use and modify a users’ content did not automatically expire if the user removed the information from the site.

Privacy advocates expressed concern that the terms gave Facebook too broad a right over a users’ information, going beyond the terms established by other social media sites. Mr. Zuckerberg initially defended the changes in a blog post Monday, saying they were designed merely to clarify issues the old policy didn’t adequately address. In particular, Facebook wanted to reflect the fact that content users remove from the site continues to exist if they shared it with other Facebook members.

The outcry continued, as tens of thousands of members protested the moves by joining groups on Facebook. Mr. Zuckerberg announced the decision to revert to the old policy in a second blog post late Tuesday night. After consulting a range of “outside experts,” the company decided to re-establish the terms that existed before Feb. 4, he wrote.

Read the full story at The Wall Street Journal

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