Facebook TOS Updates – Double Standard?

February 16, 2009

So by now just about everyone is aware of the revisions that Facebook made to their terms of service (TOS). Many people are outraged, stating that Facebook has overreached and is being too aggressive with their claims of ownership of all content created by all users.

Sounds like a double standard.

This raises a question…

If they are going to claim ownership to reap the benefits of owning that content, will they also accept the responsibility for and liability associated with that content? I understand that if my content gets a great deal of traffic, they’ll be happy to accept the associated advertising revenue… but if I go and slander Wal-Mart on their site, will Facebook be the one who takes the wrap for that? Somehow I think they’ll either point the finger back at me, and say “hey its not our content”. Oh Facebook, but you are now saying it is your content!

No doubt, as with most cool online sites that get venture capital, the pressure to grow and monetize is great, and a strong bit of greed and ownership-entitlement seems to come not far behind.

So when you use a social media service, who should have ownership of the content you create? What about on blogs, who should “own” the comments? Should it be the owner of the site, or the user who generated the user-generated content. Certainly both parties have a stake and a credible claim.

Update: Facebook bactracks…

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One Response to “Facebook TOS Updates – Double Standard?”


  1. […] Some people are saying they went almost as far in over-reaching their claims as did Facebook, who updated their TOS just the other day.   I’m not sure.  Here are the stipulations they added in.  You be the […]


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