Facebook’s outragous Terms of Use

Many of us knew already that Facebook’s Terms of Use are unacceptable and that nobody should ever use Facebook, but work on a free (as in free speech) alternative to Facebook.

A couple of weeks ago, Facebook changed their Terms of Use again without notifying its users. It basically grants itself an “irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive, transferable, fully paid, worldwide license” to do anything they want with all our data. This license never expires and all your data will never be deleted, not even when you delete your account. The Blogosphere covers this in many places.

Facebook’s founder Mark Zuckerberg defended the new terms in the official blog of Facebook. I wrote a comment to counter his poor arguments and was surprised to find that my comment was not published. I just received a message thanking me for my comment. Thankfully, I saved my comment before sending it, so I can now publish it here:

If you need a license to show our data to the other people we’ve asked you to share it with, why don’t you ask us to give you exactly that license?

Why do you require us to accept a license that grants you an irrevocable universal right to our data that never expires?

If I want to delete (not deactivate!) my account and all my data, I also want you to delete my messages from the inbox of my friends. What is the problem with this?

If you think that is not the way Facebook should work, why don’t you give us both options? Make it possible to deactivate AND delete our accounts.

You give email as an example. But Facebook is not email. If I send an email to a friend, my friend may keep the message forever, but neither he nor some private company has an unlimited right to my message. The message might not even be stored on a computer under the control of some company as it is the case with Facebook.

I would be glad to have answers to my question.

Thank you!

Let’s see if there will be any response. I doubt it. The sole fact that they don’t allow public comments on their blog clearly shows how they treat their users. A blog without the possibility to comment is not a blog. They essentially suppress free speech and public discussion in the medium they control.

Help us to free communication and digital social interaction by creating a community that works on establishing free alternatives!

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