Farewell, Facebook

16 Feb 2009

Update, 2/18/09: In response to public outcry, Facebook reverted to its old Terms of Service temporarily. In addition, from their statement:

"We hope you'll join this group and post comments. We promise to use these comments to help construct a new Terms of Use that reflects the principles around how people share and control their information, and that's written clearly in language everyone can understand."

For the record, I'm glad to see this rapid response on Facebook's part. But the fact that they were capable of such a giant misstep in the first place leaves me reluctant to trust them. My profile is deleted, and I'll be staying off there for the time being while this story unfolds.

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(My original post, in case you're interested:)
An update to my earlier post today about Facebook:

After a whole lot on online uproar today, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg posted a response to concerns over its new Terms of Service.

Please do give it a read. My interpretation is that, in essence, Facebook has no plans to change its Terms of Service, Zuckerberg is not apologizing for failing to inform users of the recent changes, and by the way, he promises not to misuse our content.

He states twice in the post that "Our philosophy is that people own their information and control who they share it with." But, in the face of the TOS language, (not to mention, how poorly they communicate with their users), I don't feel that I can trust Facebook. I've decided to delete my profile there.

To be honest, today's events were merely the last straw. I've never really enjoyed Facebook's convoluted user interface, its inadequate online help, or the barrage of nonsensical applications that litter up the place. I was there because seemingly everyone else was there. But that isn't worth handing my original words and images over to people who feel the need to control them. If I see substantial changes in Facebook's TOS and user interface someday, I'll consider coming back.

UPDATE: If you want to go deeper into this subject, read this comparison of Facebook's TOS with those of other online services like Flickr, MySpace, Twitter, etc..

Meanwhile, I'll still be hanging out on Twitter, where they respect intellectual property. Hope to see you there sometime.

Categories: 

Comments

I don't even understand all this. I mean, why would they want the content anyway? I have so much fun with my friends on FB, I hope this gets resolved soon....


I’ve never really enjoyed Facebook’s convoluted user interface.

I'm so glad I'm not alone on this. I signed up a few months ago, but deleted my account the same day when I could not figure out how to do ANYTHING on there!


I do miss you on fb! But also understand, and hope they get the TOS fixed. In the meantime, I'll probably just be social on fb, with things I'm not worried about losing.

Re: watermarks: I think a person could create one, with something like photoshop elements, using a translucent layer that has what you want to use on it.


finally my tendency to procrastinate pays off! i have been putting off signing up for face book and now suddenly don't feel so left out.

thanks diane for the update.


Watermark programs seem so expensive. I'm just not going to put my photos up on FB anymore. Just link to articles and pictures on my web page. Thanks for bringing this to everyone's attention.


I'm puzzled.. I know you have the best advice, but I don't want to loose all my facebook contacts who don't want to Twitter with me.. I'll guess I'll go back to blogging, since facebook I found myself quite neglecting my blog..


Thanks, Diane. I've been contemplating Facebook just because I'm nostalgic and would love to get back in touch with some college and high school friends, but I think I'll just plug along with my blog and maybe someday they'll find me!


I'll miss you! But I understand your decision.


oh, I'm so bummed to hear that, Diane. Hopefully they'll come to their senses and rewrite this mess to be fair to users, it is so ridiculous at this point. But regardless, I'll miss seeing you there! I'm not sure if I can ever hang with twitter's 140-character-ness and 24/7/365 feel (no offense to the enthusiasts, but I have the free phone I got for renewing my contract which is not wireless enabled whatsoever, so I'm a once-a-day-hello type) but hopefully I'll be seeing you in person a fair amount, anyway!


You should probably also know that websites like Facebook need to have terms like that because without them they're not legally allowed to display your content. Most, if not all websites in the style of Facebook have similar terms.


Bec, for the record - I understand where the TOS is needed. I just think it's possible to claim the right to display my content without also claiming the right to do whatever they like with my content in perpetuity, even if I delete my account.

Twitter's Terms of Service are explicit in stating: "We claim no intellectual property rights over the material you provide to the Twitter service. Your profile and materials uploaded remain yours." http://twitter.com/terms


I haven't had a chance to read up on FB's new TOS, but did catch some talk on twitter about it. I am going to add a huge watermark on my pictures that I upload there, but I wonder if that is enough? Would some super awesome graphics person be able to get around my watermark or fill in the blanks or whatever?

Very annoying. And I just started using Facebook! I really don't like MySpace either and geez, everyone I know is on one of the two, if not both. *sigh*


It stinks - I've been using Facebook for years now, and it really has been a wonderful networking site for me. I've gotten JOBS through Facebook! In light of all of this new information though, I just don't know if I can continue to use it. Sigh...decisions, decisions.


Yep. That's why I quit using the Flickr App... Why I quit using the Blog App... and why I have limited photos there. It's my shiznit, bitches. You can't HAVE it. :P


Diane! I know what you mean, about trusting! I love the twitter world and have no reason to look askance at them after my short history with them. After 3 minutes on Facebook I smelled something fishy. I thought I was being paranoid. Anyway, you get super gold stars on this front: The work you put into informing people and getting us involved was phenomenal and you continue to practice the one-person-can-make-a-difference philosophy, big time!!

Basically, you're making me look bad.


I haven't had a chance to read up on FB's new TOS, but did catch some talk on twitter about it. I am going to add a huge watermark on my pictures that I upload there, but I wonder if that is enough? Would some super awesome graphics person be able to get around my watermark or fill in the blanks or whatever?

Very annoying. And I just started using Facebook! I really don't like MySpace either and geez, everyone I know is on one of the two, if not both. *sigh*


It stinks - I've been using Facebook for years now, and it really has been a wonderful networking site for me. I've gotten JOBS through Facebook! In light of all of this new information though, I just don't know if I can continue to use it. Sigh...decisions, decisions.


Yep. That's why I quit using the Flickr App... Why I quit using the Blog App... and why I have limited photos there. It's my shiznit, bitches. You can't HAVE it. :P


Thanks, Diane. I've been contemplating Facebook just because I'm nostalgic and would love to get back in touch with some college and high school friends, but I think I'll just plug along with my blog and maybe someday they'll find me!


oh, I'm so bummed to hear that, Diane. Hopefully they'll come to their senses and rewrite this mess to be fair to users, it is so ridiculous at this point. But regardless, I'll miss seeing you there! I'm not sure if I can ever hang with twitter's 140-character-ness and 24/7/365 feel (no offense to the enthusiasts, but I have the free phone I got for renewing my contract which is not wireless enabled whatsoever, so I'm a once-a-day-hello type) but hopefully I'll be seeing you in person a fair amount, anyway!


You should probably also know that websites like Facebook need to have terms like that because without them they're not legally allowed to display your content. Most, if not all websites in the style of Facebook have similar terms.


I'll miss you! But I understand your decision.


Bec, for the record - I understand where the TOS is needed. I just think it's possible to claim the right to display my content without also claiming the right to do whatever they like with my content in perpetuity, even if I delete my account.

Twitter's Terms of Service are explicit in stating: "We claim no intellectual property rights over the material you provide to the Twitter service. Your profile and materials uploaded remain yours." http://twitter.com/terms


Watermark programs seem so expensive. I'm just not going to put my photos up on FB anymore. Just link to articles and pictures on my web page. Thanks for bringing this to everyone's attention.


finally my tendency to procrastinate pays off! i have been putting off signing up for face book and now suddenly don't feel so left out.

thanks diane for the update.


I don't even understand all this. I mean, why would they want the content anyway? I have so much fun with my friends on FB, I hope this gets resolved soon....


I'm puzzled.. I know you have the best advice, but I don't want to loose all my facebook contacts who don't want to Twitter with me.. I'll guess I'll go back to blogging, since facebook I found myself quite neglecting my blog..


Diane! I know what you mean, about trusting! I love the twitter world and have no reason to look askance at them after my short history with them. After 3 minutes on Facebook I smelled something fishy. I thought I was being paranoid. Anyway, you get super gold stars on this front: The work you put into informing people and getting us involved was phenomenal and you continue to practice the one-person-can-make-a-difference philosophy, big time!!

Basically, you're making me look bad.


I’ve never really enjoyed Facebook’s convoluted user interface.

I'm so glad I'm not alone on this. I signed up a few months ago, but deleted my account the same day when I could not figure out how to do ANYTHING on there!


I do miss you on fb! But also understand, and hope they get the TOS fixed. In the meantime, I'll probably just be social on fb, with things I'm not worried about losing.

Re: watermarks: I think a person could create one, with something like photoshop elements, using a translucent layer that has what you want to use on it.