I've been reading about this change to Facebook's Terms of Use since I first read it on Mashable. I agree that their change was a bit “extreme” and I hope they fix the wording. But, I've seen people freak out due to the another part of their Terms of Use that says Facebook has the right to publish, re-use and distribute your content once you upload it. Truthfully, that isn't really any different than most websites you probably use on a daily basis. For example, Google's Blogger (home to Blogspot.com) says this in their terms of use:

“By submitting, posting or displaying Content on or through Google services which are intended to be available to the members of the public, you grant Google a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free license to reproduce, publish and distribute such Content on Google services for the purpose of displaying and distributing Google services.”

You see the same sort of stuff on Yahoo, too. It's a basic “cover all bases” clause that allows them to publicly print your information on their services. I agree that it's not “we'll keep your data forever and use it however we like” but it's still your standard terms of use. Google does own a lot of other sites which fall under “Google services.” Maybe it's the fact that I've been using computers since I was a wee lad and have been using the Internet since I was 14 or 15 and we had to use Lynx to browse the “World Wide Web.” Plus, we had to dial-up to the Internet on our 2400-baud modems, both ways, in the snow…oh wait, I got off-track there. To me, the standard Terms of Use are pretty..well..standard. I only upload/share information that I expect to be shared around. I also can't stop someone else from uploading a photo of me, which then completely stops me from removing it.

I'm definitely not backing Facebook and their new (now defunct) Terms of Use, since it was a bit out of the ordinary, but I'm also not going to delete my account there. I do think these sites should take a more open approach to their terms, but I think some people need to look around at all of the sites they use before coming to a final conclusion.

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3 comments

  • And here I thought this was going to be a post on PvP lol

    Yeah, I try to limit public info about me, those who know me know it all, but sites like facebook and myspace are good for staying in touch. . .

  • And even if they are good for staying in touch… sometimes it’s hard to… uhm… tactfully decide who you want to keep in touch with and who you don’t. So all around, best to limit what goes on there. Ya know, only share what you wouldn’t care for ANYONE to find out.

  • Good post – we’re all so used to using “free” services to blog, connect, etc – that it’s easy to miss the hidden “costs” associated with them.

    Nothing like waking up in the morning to see your mug splashed across the hinterwebz as part of Google’s (or Facebook’s) latest ad campaign.

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