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About Facebook's about-face

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The social networking site with a user base larger than the population of all but five countries saw a shakeup over the past couple days as it was taken to task for making changes to its terms of service. After much uproar the site reverted to the previous wording.

First noticed by consumer advocacy site The Consumerist, the new language changed what the site could do with a user's content after their account had been deleted. The New York Times explains:

Earlier this month, Facebook deleted a provision from its terms of service that said users could remove their content at any time, at which time the license [that the company has to use the photos, posts, and information] would expire. It added new language that said Facebook would retain users’ content and licenses after an account was terminated.

Users were outraged. Protest groups sprang up on the site, including "People against the new Facebook Terms of Service (TOS)," which drew more than 80,000 members. The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) prepared a formal complaint to the Federal Trade Commission.


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