Facebook Users Will Have Input On Policies

Mark Zuckerberg of facebookFacebook has invited users to review, comment and cast votes on policy changes to help shape the community. The new policies accompany a set of redrafted documents, the legal agreement between the site and the more than 175 million users worldwide.

The move comes after Facebook received backlash last week after it quietly made changes to the site's Terms of Service. Bloggers slammed the company for making changes without notice to users, but executives thought shortening the document would make it easier for users to comprehend.

But the new version of the document excluded two sentences that previously had allowed users to delete photos, posts and messages they uploaded to their accounts when they cut ties with the social network.

In a conference call Thursday with reporters, Palo Alto, Calif.-based Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the company has never tried to take ownership of user content uploaded to the site. "We do not own user data; users own their own data and that's always been our stand," he said. "We never intended to give that impression, and feel really bad we did."

Facebook has posted to the site the first two documents, Proposed Facebook Principles, and Proposed Statement of Rights & Responsibilities. Both are open to discussions by members.

If many comments are made about the proposed changes, Facebook will allow site users to vote and decide on the issues that make sense. "That's a big step," Zuckerberg said. "Ultimately, we think if we're trying to move the world toward being more open and transparent, and get people to share more information, than having an open process is the only way to do that."

Facebook also plans to create a council to help craft future revisions. "Being transparent as possible is a very valuable thing," Zuckerberg said. "We will continue to build products that fit within these guidelines and foundation." He said the company will release "hundreds of changes," including many important ones during the next few weeks.

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2 comments about "Facebook Users Will Have Input On Policies".
  1. Sock Money from Sockmoney, LLC , February 27, 2009 at 8:03 a.m.

    I think this is a big mistake. They are not going to be able to get anything done if they spend their time catering to the scattered requests of a hundred thousand users.

    I can see it now... one group lobbies for a new feature X... it gets built and launched... then another group can't stand the feature and they form a group and lobby to have it removed...

    In the end, FB is going to waste millions of dollars trying to make everyone happy...

  2. Daniel Bader from jackpot ventures , February 27, 2009 at 10:41 a.m.

    Technically speaking, isn't it a bit disingenuous when Zuckerman says; "We do not own user data; users own their own data and that's always been our stand." Afterall, since FB owns the 'backup' doesn't that give them ownership of the data?