Facebook reverts to previous terms after member criticism

News by Dan Raywood

Facebook will return to its previous terms of use following user uproar.

Facebook will return to its previous terms of use following user uproar.


CEO Mark Zuckerberg has claimed that it had ‘received a lot of questions and comments about the changes and what they mean for people and their information'. Due to the level of press attention and user debate, Facebook is to return to its previous terms of use while it resolves issues that have risen.


Zuckerberg said: “Many of us at Facebook spent most of today discussing how best to move forward. One approach would have been to quickly amend the new terms with new language to clarify our positions further. Another approach was simply to revert to our old terms while we begin working on our next version. As we thought through this, we reached out to respected organisations to get their input.


“Going forward, we've decided to take a new approach towards developing our terms. We concluded that returning to our previous terms was the right thing for now. As I said yesterday, we think that a lot of the language in our terms is overly formal and protective so we don't plan to leave it there for long.”


He further claimed that the new version of the terms of use will be a ‘substantial revision' from where it is now, and will reflect the right for people to share and control their information and ‘will be written clearly in language everyone can understand'.


He also said that ‘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'.


The previous terms of use, published on 24th May, 2007, claimed that by posting user content to any part of the site, you grant the company the right to use, copy, publicly display and distribute user content.


The changes, made on 4th February 2009, removed the line ‘you may remove your user content from the site at any time. If you choose to remove your user content, the license granted above will automatically expire, however you acknowledge that the company may retain archived copies of your user content'. This led some users to complain after the new terms of service appeared to suggest that Facebook would retain personal data even if someone deleted their account.


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