Facebook’s Next Step in “Terms of Use” Debacle? You Decide


When you logged on to Facebook this afternoon you may have seen the announcement (above) at the top of your profile. The 175-million strong social network has decided to put decision making in your hands. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg writes on his blog, “Beginning today, we are giving you a greater opportunity to voice your opinion over how Facebook is governed.”

This comes a week after Facebook returned to its original Terms of Use after a mini-uproar that cost the site a handful of users who were not thrilled Facebook modified them weeks earlier.

“Our main goal at Facebook is to help make the world more open and transparent,” he writes, adding, “we came to an interesting realization – that the conventional business practices around a Terms of Use document are just too restrictive to achieve these goals.”

The site has published two new documents: the Facebook Principles, and the Statement of Rights and Responsibilities. The second will replace the existing Terms of Use. Before the new proposals go into effect, Facebook members will be able to vote for or against proposed changes.

Zuckerberg concludes: “History tells us that systems are most fairly governed when there is an open and transparent dialogue between the people who make decisions and those who are affected by them.”