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Last week I wrote about Facebook's latest privacy flub which involved a change to the Facebook terms of service that didn't go over too well with Facebook users and the media.
In response to this, Facebook's CEO Mark Zuckerberg issued his standard apology. But that apparently wasn't enough.
Yesterday, Facebook announced that it was creating an open governance model that is designed to give users a more active role in how Facebook is run and how things such as the terms of service are written.
On the Facebook Blog, Zuckerberg wrote:
He went on:
Me? I think it's much ado about nothing. Facebook's move to create some sort of democratic governance framework is idealistic and unworkable. It's also unnecessary.
This is about terms of service. We're not talking about the Magna Carta or the Declaration of Independence here.
What's so hard about developing a reasonable terms of service that provides your company with protection while at the same time not going beyond what's necessary (e.g.taking rights away from users for no good reason)?
Thousands upon thousands of websites have terms of service agreements. Facebook isn't the first company to be criticized for having an overbearing terms of service but most companies never run into problems. They have reasonable agreements.
I agree with ReadWriteWeb's Marshall Kirkpatrick, who wrote that "Facebook appears to forget that it's just one of many ways people use the internet".
Facebook seems to make everything more complicated than it needs to be because it appears to believe that everything it does is revolutionary.
That isn't the case. As impressive as Facebook is as a service and company, Facebook isn't doing anything that demands more than a standard terms of service and a set of reasonable, common sense policies.
Follow the law in the jurisdictions you do business, get a royalty-free license from users so you can display the content users upload and let users remove their content (and their accounts) if they so choose.
What's so difficult about that, Facebook?