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Friday, February 27, 2009
Facebook Opens Terms of Service to Users

Last week, facebook returned to their previous Terms of Use as they worked on a new set of governing documents. Today, facebook is giving users the opportunity to voice their opinion over how Facebook is governed.

Facebook on Thursday said it hopes that by giving its users a voice in how the service is run it will avoid the backlash and controversy that have greeted changes implemented by the company.

"Our main goal at Facebook is to help make the world more open and transparent," Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg wrote at the company's blog. "We believe that if we want to lead the world in this direction, then we must set an example by running our service in this way," he added.

Facebook published two new documents for users to review and comment. The first is the Facebook Principles, which defines users' rights and will serve as the guiding framework behind any policy facebook will consider. The second document is the Statement of Rights and Responsibilities, which will replace the existing Terms of Use.

Facebook has created separate groups for each document so users can read them and provide comments and feedback. You can find the Facebook Principles here and the Statement of Rights and Responsibilities here. The "Statement of Rights and Responsibilities"replaces the old terms of use and translates the principles into specific rules. Before these new proposals go into effect, users will be also have the ability to vote for or against proposed changes.

"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. We believe history will one day show that this principle holds true for companies as well, and we're looking to moving in this direction with you," Zuckerberg added.

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