Buh-Bye, Facebook

A quick note to let those of you who follow me on Facebook know that, effective immediately, I am deleting my Facebook profile.

Facebook has just adopted new terms of service. My friend Tiffany, who is an attorney, interpreted them for me thus:

FB's terms of service have always granted the company a broad license to do as it pleases with any content uploaded to Facebook--or even content shared through links on your profile page. The primary (and critical) difference is that under the old terms, that license "expired" if you removed the content. That meant that the user maintained some level of control over use of content because he or she could essentially revoke the license at any time. Under the new terms of service, no such revocation is possible. Continued use of Facebook constitutes acceptance of the new terms of service; the new terms of service say that once you've uploaded something to Facebook, the company has broad rights to do whatever it likes with that content IRREVOCABLY.

Here is founder Mark Zuckerberg's response to objections to this change.

In essence, he says: Don't worry. You're giving us a license to do whatever we want, but we'd never do anything you wouldn't want us to.

I'm very curious as to why, if they'd never use this right, they've gone to the trouble of amending their TOS to create it.

As a writer by profession, this is pretty dangerous for me. I have a live link to the content of this blog on my Facebook page and if I continue to use Facebook, it will have an irrevocable license to use all of that material. If I continue to use FB but just delete the blog feed, FB will still have an irrevocable license to use the content that I have posted to date. I doubt that Facebook would ever want to use my material, but suppose something I write goes viral, becomes a huge best-seller and an award-winning movie and Oprah herself calls to invite me on the show?

(Dudes, it could SO happen.)

Do I want Facebook to have the rights to all of my blog material, completely free of charge?

What do you think Oprah would say?

So, although it pains me because I was just finally starting to get the hang of it, it's bye-bye Facebook and um, well, hello Oprah. (Oh, just hush.)


Miri said…
Are you just angling for a guest spot on Oprah?

In all honesty, I am about to delete my Facebook page too. What a relief. I'm not technical enough to keep up with it all anyway. It's not like I think anything I write is worth stealing or using nefariously... but still.
MadMad said…
When you go on Oprah, can I come, too?
Stefanie said…
I didn't know you were on Facebook!

Personally, I don't link to my blog on facebook. My blog is for my family and friends to read... not my 200+ "friends" to read.
Anonymous said…
Well, this bums me out. See, I just got ON facebook (broken leg limits options for entertainment) and was wondering if you were on there.
DK said…
I'm still addicted and holding strong. I have a link to my blog on there, but not a live feed. I don't know what it means, but I don't think Facebook is trying to take over the world...I could be wrong (ever see the South Park episode about the Trapper Keeper?).
Everyone should read the note posted tonight from Mark (the FB founder). You can get it here:

Annabanana said…
I think the outrage worked: "Facebook backs down, reverses on user information policy" (from NYT this morning)...hope to see you back there, it's such a fun way to catch up with folks.
Karen said…
Did you see? They reversed it! Yay for the little people!!!
Ei said…
I hadn't had time to even react when I saw the note from FB founder that they were reverting back to the old TOS this morning. (I was too busy being enamored by someone who did go viral...ha ha she even used that word...and listening to her talk about being stupid in front of Oprah. It could happen, Barb. It could totally happen.)
Robin said…
I thought you might be interested in the message on my facebook account today. It seems as if you are not the only one unhappy! :-) Okay just read the other comments- apparently my news is old news! :-)

Terms of Use Update

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. For more information, visit the Facebook Blog.

If you want to share your thoughts on what should be in the new terms, check out our group Facebook Bill of Rights and Responsibilities.
Anonymous said…
Sadly, most people would not have looked closely enough to notice the change in Facebook's Terms of Service... looks them social networkers are doing a good job of looking out for each other