For anyone who hasn’t been online for the past couple of weeks, you might be forgiven if you don’t know that there’s been a huge controversy between Mark Zuckerberg and the entire online community, it seems.
Those of you who don’t know Mark Zuckerberg, he’s the founder of Facebook, which is an online social networking site. It’s considered one of the most valuable properties on the internet (despite not actually having a way to make money) and it’s been at the center of a fairly powerful controversy. Zuckerberg made internet history when, at the age of 21, he refused to sell Facebook for the sum of one billion dollars.
However, in light of recent events, he might find himself wishing that he’d taken the money and run.
Zuckerberg attempted to change the terms of agreement that users would agree to in order to use the Facebook site. However, many felt that the new terms gave Facebook far too much power, and they began what amounted to an internet picket line to let Zuckerberg know how they felt.
Their message was heard, loud and clear.
Initially, the terms of agreement would have given Facebook the rights to use any material posted on the site for as long as they wanted to do so. The way that Zuckerberg explained it, this was designed so that even if someone decided to delete their Facebook account, their friends would have still have access to material they had put up.
When the public became aware of what the changes entailed, they immediately voiced their displeasure – and Mark Zuckerberg listened.
He came out a few days later and announced that the terms of agreement would not be changed, after all.
This is not the first time that Facebook has done a turnaround due to public pressure.
First, the site had a newsfeed ability that many felt was a violation of privacy rights, and then Facebook attempted to implement an advertising program called Beacon. Both times, when the public criticism grew too loud, Facebook backtracked and put things back to the way they had previously been.
Still, Zuckerberg announced on his blog that Facebook was still committed to finding a way to address the concerns of both users and the site owner itself, and said that it will take time to find the right balance.
Until then, Facebook is turning back the clock to the way things were, prior to the new terms of agreement.
“About-Facebook: Zuckerberg Relents On Privacy Rules” by K.C. Jones (Information Week, 18 Feb 2009)