Social networking phenomenon Facebook is under fire as users ask, “Who really owns my content?”

Facebook’s newest terms of service are igniting issues of privacy and ownership.

We’re bringing you perspectives from CNN, The Consumerist, Chicago Tribune, The Money Times of India, and Forbes.

CNN reports the rules changed “quietly and suddenly."

“Here’s what happened. Facebook removed language that said its ownership of your content would end when you removed that content or closed your account. Now what does that mean? It means that facebook will continue to have access to things like your personal photos and personal information.” (CNN)

The blog Consumerist is credited as the first to alert users to the change, posting the headline:


“Facebook’s new terms of service: ‘We can do anything we want with your content. Forever.’” (The Consumerist)

And a flurry of headlines followed:

The Chicago Tribune asks, “Do you belong to Facebook forever?”
The Money Times of India calls it a “Controversial update.”
And Forbes calls it the “Facebook Face-off.”

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg defended the new terms of service… noting this parallel on his blog:

“These two positions are at odds with each other. There is no system today that enables me to share my email address with you and then simultaneously lets me control who you share it with…” (Facebook)

But not all Facebook users are appeased. Several protest groups have emerged, including this one, who calls itself “People against the new Terms of Service." It has more than 27,000 members.

The AFP brings us an interview with a privacy expert, who says the new terms are:

“[C]ommon language in every website because their cut-throat lawyer says you need to cover yourself…This doesn't mean that Facebook can make a mini-series on your life or write a book about you... Folks should just calm down." (AFP)

A Los Angeles Times editorial retorts—those responses leave an important question unanswered.

“Users still don't know why or whether Facebook keeps all their content on file without their explicit permission." (Los Angeles Times)


Finally… online newsmagazine Marketing Pilgrim points blame at users and asks:


With all of the online services that many readers use daily, from major to obscure ones, how many of you completely read the Terms of Service for everything? …If we are not paying attention are we opening ourselves to this kind of action that can put us at some risk? (Marketing Pilgrim)

How about you? Do you read a website’s terms of service? What do you think about Facebook’s new terms? We invite you to share your thoughts with us, and be sure to check out our sources.

I’m Charlotte Bellis, for Newsy.com, where multiple perspectives help provide the real story.

Facebook Face-off

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Feb 17, 2009

Facebook Face-off

Social networking phenomenon Facebook is under fire as users ask, “Who really owns my content?”

Facebook’s newest terms of service are igniting issues of privacy and ownership.

We’re bringing you perspectives from CNN, The Consumerist, Chicago Tribune, The Money Times of India, and Forbes.

CNN reports the rules changed “quietly and suddenly."

“Here’s what happened. Facebook removed language that said its ownership of your content would end when you removed that content or closed your account. Now what does that mean? It means that facebook will continue to have access to things like your personal photos and personal information.” (CNN)

The blog Consumerist is credited as the first to alert users to the change, posting the headline:


“Facebook’s new terms of service: ‘We can do anything we want with your content. Forever.’” (The Consumerist)

And a flurry of headlines followed:

The Chicago Tribune asks, “Do you belong to Facebook forever?”
The Money Times of India calls it a “Controversial update.”
And Forbes calls it the “Facebook Face-off.”

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg defended the new terms of service… noting this parallel on his blog:

“These two positions are at odds with each other. There is no system today that enables me to share my email address with you and then simultaneously lets me control who you share it with…” (Facebook)

But not all Facebook users are appeased. Several protest groups have emerged, including this one, who calls itself “People against the new Terms of Service." It has more than 27,000 members.

The AFP brings us an interview with a privacy expert, who says the new terms are:

“[C]ommon language in every website because their cut-throat lawyer says you need to cover yourself…This doesn't mean that Facebook can make a mini-series on your life or write a book about you... Folks should just calm down." (AFP)

A Los Angeles Times editorial retorts—those responses leave an important question unanswered.

“Users still don't know why or whether Facebook keeps all their content on file without their explicit permission." (Los Angeles Times)


Finally… online newsmagazine Marketing Pilgrim points blame at users and asks:


With all of the online services that many readers use daily, from major to obscure ones, how many of you completely read the Terms of Service for everything? …If we are not paying attention are we opening ourselves to this kind of action that can put us at some risk? (Marketing Pilgrim)

How about you? Do you read a website’s terms of service? What do you think about Facebook’s new terms? We invite you to share your thoughts with us, and be sure to check out our sources.

I’m Charlotte Bellis, for Newsy.com, where multiple perspectives help provide the real story.

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