Business/E-Business
Commentary
4/24/2009
07:37 PM
Fredric Paul
Fredric Paul
Commentary
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Facebook Revises Terms Of Use - No One Cares

Remember the kerfuffle a couple months ago when Facebook changed its terms of use, then took back the changes when the user community threatened to revolt? At the time, the social networking giant promised to let users vote on a new terms of use, and now it has followed through. So why doesn't anyone care?

Remember the kerfuffle a couple months ago when Facebook changed its terms of use, then took back the changes when the user community threatened to revolt? At the time, the social networking giant promised to let users vote on a new terms of use, and now it has followed through. So why doesn't anyone care?Facebook held the vote, and users "approved" a new set of Facebook Principles and Statement of Rights and Responsibilities, that by and large give control of content to Facebook users.

That's a good thing.

But as Nicole Ferraro points out on Internet Evolution, only 600 THOUSAND out of some 200 MILLION Facebook users bothered to vote -- that's about 0.32%. Heck, I didn't, did you? (Maybe we were all too busy downloading Facebook 1.5 for Blackberry?) Originally, Facebook had said a vote would require 30% participation, but that level of participation is patently ridiculous. I'm guessing a huge chunk of those 200 million users hardly ever sign on the service, and never even consider arcane rules of use.

So, I've got two things to say about all this.

Overall, I think the new rules and principles are an improvement over the originals, and much more user-friendly than the short-lived replacements.

Perhaps we were all guilty of brewing a tempest in a teapot about this whole Terms of Use issue. Me included.

The bottom line hasn't changed a bit in all of this: Be careful what you post on social networking sites, and be prepared for anything you or your company posts to escape your control and become publicly availably in perpetuity.

That's just the way it is, no matter what the fancy legal documents say.

Don't Miss: Is A Good Privacy Policy Also Good Business?

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