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Facebook & its Terms of Service

The Consumerist yesterday wrote a note about Facebook changing its terms of use policy, which according to Facebook's site, was updated on Feb. 4. Basically, according to the Consumerist piece, the change means you give Facebook a license to the rights of any public user content you post forever, even if your account is terminated, either by you or Facebook.

According to the Consumerist piece, and I checked it out, too, looking back an archived page from October of last year, these few sentences used to be part of the agreement:

"If you choose to remove your User Content, the license granted above will automatically expire, however you acknowledge that the Company may retain archived copies of your User Content."

That's definitely gone now.

Significant? The Twitterverse -- and the social media blogs -- are all abuzz this morning with conversations about the change. I'm thinking the real issue is that people never thought about the fact that they don't have the exclusive rights to everything they publish on Facebook.

What do you think?

Update: Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg has spoken out about this issue. Read it here.


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If you deactivate your account from the "Deactivate Account" section on the Account page, your profile and all information associated with it are immediately made inaccessible to other Facebook users. What this means is that you effectively disappear from the Facebook service. However, if you want to reactivate at some point, we do save your profile information (friends, photos, interests, etc.), and your account will look just the way it did when you deactivated if you decide to reactivate it. Many users deactivate their accounts for temporary reasons and expect their information to be there when they return to the service.

If you do not think you will use Facebook again and would like your account deleted, please keep in mind that you will not be able to reactivate your account or retrieve any of the content or information you have added. If you would like your account permanently deleted with no option for recovery, log in to your account and then submit your request by clicking http://www.facebook.com/help/contact.php?show_form=delete_account

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