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02.17.09

Big Brother 2.0

There has been a bit of controversy over how the 50-60million subscriber monster Facebook is treating their terms of service (TOS). There is some more detail here but as they point out on Mashable the gist is the following:

“The Consumerist has noticed a seemingly slight but very important (and disturbing) change in Facebook’s terms of service, regarding user-generated content.

In short, all of the content you’ve ever uploaded on Facebook can be used, modified or even sublicensed by Facebook in every possible way – even if you quit the service.”

I teach a class or two per semester at a local university on various technology/web topics in which I find myself in the same spot semester after semester. I assume my students are leary enough of technology, since they are in the 17 – 21 year old demographic, to not assume they are using their Facebook or Myspace accounts with anonymity. Semester after semester I see their eyes widen when I tell them how the magical internet actually circulates their latest Facebook status and that gallery of images from the party that their first employer really didn’t need to see all the details of without their permission. I like to think this little TOS blip might further impress upon them that indeed their digital soapbox is very public.