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TIME ON FACEBOOK Vs FACE TIME IN THE REAL (NON VIRTUAL) WORLD

Posted by Billyjam, February 18, 2009 02:30pm | Post a Comment
"Facebook helps you connect and share with the people in your life," claims the heading on Facebook once you arrive on their website. But we all know, or should suspect, that the phenomenally popular social networking site (175 million + members worldwide) would love to share your information with more than just "the people in your life" (i.e., advertisers or anyone willing to pay), especially when increased revenues for the company are at stake.

Hence the news this week that, following a tidal wave of protests from its justifiably anxious users that Facebook (FB) would again modify its rules by withdrawing recent changes to its so-called "terms of service" (TOS) dealing with the data (personal information, wall postings, messages, images etc.) supplied by its legions of devoted members, should not come as a big surprise.

The new message posted on FB reads, "Over the past few days, we have received a lot of feedback about the new terms we posted two weeks ago. Because of this response, we have decided to return to our previous Terms of Use while we resolve the issues that people have raised." That recent adjustment to the Facebook/member contract occurred about two weeks ago when the site deleted a provision from its TOS: an important one that said users could remove their FB data anytime they wished, and once they deleted it, that the license would expire. Suddenly FB added new data stating that FB could and would retain users’ content and licenses even after a user's FB account was terminated. Understandably this was perceived as meaning that FB forever owns everything you post on their site and naturally this unnerving bit of news set off a domino effect of paranoia amongst its members.
facebook ceo zuckerberg
Hence the back-peddling by FB top dog Mark Zuckerberg, who assured members in a blog posted two days ago that the fact that “people own their information and control who they share it with has remained constant.” This is the guy, you will recall, who forked over a whopping $65 million settlement in a lawsuit by his three old Harvard buddies who said they came up with the idea first -- intended for their own site, ConnectU -- and that that Zuckerberg (whose net worth is guestimated to be $1.5 billion) simply stole it from them. The case got settled before going to court so we really don't know the real dealio and it is possible that Zuckerberg is innocent, but I sure doubt it. This is the guy who millions are entrusting with their most personal information! 

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