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Jim Liebelt Christian Blog and Commentary

Facebook Reverts to Old Terms of Service (for Now)

  • Jim Liebelt
    Jim Liebelt
    Jim is Senior Writer, Editor and Researcher for the HomeWord Center for Youth and Family at Azusa Pacific University. Jim has over 25 years of experience as a youth and family ministry specialist, and has been on the HomeWord staff since 1998. He has served over the years as a pastor, author, youth ministry trainer, adjunct college instructor and speaker. Jim’s culture blog and parenting articles appear on HomeWord.com. Jim is a contributing author of culture and parenting articles to Crosswalk.com. Jim and his wife Jenny live in Olympia, WA.
  • 2009 Feb 19
  • Comments

On February 4, Facebook updated its terms of service and not many people noticed (myself included). Inserted into the new terms of service was wording that granted Facebook the ownership of everything anyone posts on the site, forever. What this essentially meant was that even if a user deletes content, or cancels an account, Facebook would still keep and have access to all of the content that had been posted to the site (along with the right to use in anyway it sees fit, including selling it to others).

In the days following the change in Facebook's terms of service, enough opposition arose to motivate a return to the previous version. At least for now. Facebook still intends to change its terms of service and it is simply a wait and see, until they try again.

At minimum, this provides parents with another opportunity to dialogue with their kids to remind them that what they post online is permanent. It's also a good reminder for adults. As my own list of friends on Facebook increases and as I view others' posts, I frequently come across content that makes me think, "Too Much Information." The recent Facebook fad of writing "25 Random Things" about yourself plays into danger of posting some really stupid things, which people might regret 5, 10 or 20 years from now, and find impossible to remove.

Sources: Multiple, including:
Ypulse

VentureBeat

Consumerist

Time

New York Times