Ever since Colleen Lindsay's blog gave me the heads up, I've been following the Facebook saga with some interest.
For those of you who aren't in the loop, Facebook quietly changed its Terms of Service (TOS) a couple of weeks ago, and basically granted themselves full rights in perpetuity to anything you post on Facebook. In theory, that means they could lift any of your content - photos, poems, your name, your essays - and use them in any way they saw fit. It even sounded like they wanted in on anything you linked to that streamed in from another website. (Not too sure about that - that's my amateur reading of the legalese.)
Mark Zuckerberg must have been shocked by the uproar. Several Facebook groups opposing the new TOS sprang into existence, and the major media took an active interest also. Zuckerberg's claims that Facebook would never do anything nasty with your data, that they just wanted to make formal the fact that even if you delete your account, your pictures and such will still be kicking around your friends' pages for a while. In essence, "trust us, no matter what it says, we won't really use it." This made a lot of people legitimately nervous, particularly anybody doing creative work. We're not too keen on granting rights to Facebook - in perpetuity no less - for our fiction, our music, our artwork, our photography.
The ruckus was loud and global and Zuckerberg caved. He went back to the old TOS. I, for one, am not so sure I want to reinstate my blog feed on Facebook. I've only ever posted one piece of flash fiction here, but it's the principle of the thing. I'm going to double-check my privacy settings there too.
I sure hope Blogger isn't next. Are you re-evaluating your online practices as a result of the recent brouhaha? Or have you always been ultra-careful?
[Update] And here is a wonderful link that explains Facebook privacy settings and how to customize them.
Technorati tags: Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, Privacy rights
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