Facebook Enables User Voting on Terms of Service

From despot to democrat?

Has there ever been a bigger (and more commendable) U-turn…?

Akin to a conversation straight out of Monty Python and the Holy Grail Facebook is looking to become wildly democratic. The social networking site has today announced proposed ‘Facebook Principles’ and a ‘Statement of Rights and Responsibilities’ which it is encouraging users to read and vote upon to help establish fair Terms of Service.

Both documents are quite lengthy but the response so far shows a significant proportion of the Facebook community is looking to get involved in shaping the future of the social networking giant. Whether that leads to consensus or endless arguing however is another matter entirely.

Put in context, the step is a remarkable 180 from Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg (possibly a 540?) as just last week the company despotically cut this vital line from its Terms of Service statement only to reinsert is after mass protests 48 hours later:

”You may remove your User Content from the Site at any time. If you choose to remove your User Content, the licence granted above will automatically expire, however you acknowledge that the Company may retain archived copies of your User Content.”

Step back to 2 June last year and the situation was even worse with Facebook accused by the Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic (CIPPIC) of a whopping 22 Privacy Law violations.

So has the world’s most popular social networking site learnt its lesson? By the look of things, it is certainly studying hard…

Proposed Facebook Principles
Proposed Statement of Rights and Responsibilities

Privacy Settings