Facebook Backtracks Under Community Pressure, Goes Back To Old ToS (For Now)

Isn’t it ironic that Facebook, which is so often used by groups of people to protest and demand changes for just about anything, has reverted to its former Terms Of Services under pressure of the community?

After trying to calm everyone down first, Mark Zuckerberg has now posted a new blog post stating that the company will revert to its previous ToS while they “resolve the issues that people have raised” (the post is being hammered right now so it’s going up and down).

The company has even polled some of its users in news feeds asking them if they should go back to their previous ToS.

According to the young CEO, it’s a language thing and they just did a poor job explaining the changes. But those changes will still be coming in the next few weeks, this time including the Facebook user community to make sure everyone can live with it / gets it (I always thought it was impossible to please everyone, but anyway):

Our next version will be a substantial revision from where we are now. It will reflect the principles I described yesterday around how people share and control their information, and it will be written clearly in language everyone can understand. Since this will be the governing document that we’ll all live by, Facebook users will have a lot of input in crafting these terms.

You have my commitment that we’ll do all of these things, but in order to do them right it will take a little bit of time. We expect to complete this in the next few weeks. In the meantime, we’ve changed the terms back to what existed before the February 4th change, which was what most people asked us for and was the recommendation of the outside experts we consulted.

Update: Barry Schnitt, Senior Manager, Corporate Communications and Public Policy at Facebook, weighed in on the discussion on the “People Against the new Terms of Service (TOS)” group.

Facebook has set up a group for its “Bill Of Rights”, where people will be able to provide feedback on the ToS changes. Only 2,000 people have joined the group at the time of this writing.

This isn’t the first time the company backtracks on a decision that got its users and outsiders all riled up. Beacon, anyone?