Facebook reverts to previous TOS. A win for social network activism!

With over 90,000 members in the protest group on Facebook, EPIC (the Electronic Privacy Information Center) and other privacy organizations filing a complaint readying a complaint to file with the FTC, over 750 articles, and headlines like Facebook seems to have a trust problem, it’s not too surprising that Facebook decided to rethink their stance on the Terms of Service changes.

And sure enough, from Mark Zuckerberg’s Update on terms late last night:

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….

Our next version will be a substantial revision from where we are now. It will reflect the principles I described yesterday around how people share and control their information, and it will be written clearly in language everyone can understand. 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….

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. I’m looking forward to reading your input.

One for the good guys!*  More in The Consumerist (who broke the story originally) and Businessweek.

Congrats, all.  A big win for users’ rights — and for social network activism.


Facebook graphic from AJC1’s flickr site, licensed under Creative Commons

PS: for background, please see my earlier posts Facebook: all your content are belong to us. FOREVER! Protests ensue and Zuckerberg: “we wouldn’t share your information in a way you wouldn’t want.” Oh really?

* in the gender-neutral sense of the word

Update, Feb 19: edited the first paragrph to clarify that the EPIC complaint wasn’t actually filed.  see comments below for more.