Facebook rocked the boat recently by implementing a new Terms Of Service that met with howls of outrage from their 150 million users. Zuckerberg ended up pulling the new TOS and reverting the site to its old set of rules, stating that the data on the social network should and does belong to the users – and that the social network obviously needed to rephrase their new documentation.
With that in mind, Facebook today released a second new version – and it’s open to user feedback and voting on whether or not it passes muster. There are two documents being released: the first is “Facebook Principles,” which defines the rights of members. The second is a “Statement of Rights and Responsibilities,” which replaces the Terms of Service. Facebook also says their users will be notified of and get to vote on changes made to the documents.
With today’s announcement, Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg had a few more words of reassurance for Facebook users:
I’ve been excited to see how much people care about Facebook and how willing they are to contribute to the process of governing the site…Beginning today, we are giving you a greater opportunity to voice your opinion over how Facebook is governed. Facebook is still in the business of introducing new and therefore potentially disruptive technologies. This can mean that our users periodically experience adjustments to new products as they become familiar with them, and before becoming enthusiastic supporters.
I believe these steps are unprecedented in promoting understanding and enabling participation on the web. I hope you will take a look at these documents, read them carefully, and share your thoughts. 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 built Facebook into the most successful social network on the globe. He has refused to sell in the face of incredible offers from internet giants, and it appears that Facebook is here to stay. With such a commitment to transparency, perhaps he can teach Google a thing or two!