Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Underhand activity and negative PR
Sitting on the train this morning, I read the freebie newspaper (Metro) front page article about Facebook deleting a provision which said users could remove all their content at any time. These new terms meant that Facebook had rights to freely use anything people had uploaded to the website, even after members had deleted material or close their accounts.
However, in a dramatic U-Turn (shouldn't that be an 'about-face-book'?), Facebook has now reversed this action and reverted to its previous terms (read Mr Zuckerberg's blog article urgently posted last night).
The impact of both these actions is serious, not only as useful fuel for privacy campaigners such as the Electronic Privacy Information Centre (EPIC), but also as an example of how to quickly create mistrust and affect your overall reputation in the online world.
As Zuckerberg is at pains to point out, Facebook now has 175 million members across the world "if it were a country, it would be the sixth most populated country in the world". However, its already clear that more and more people now believe Facebook to be less of the democracy it once made itself to be. And a reputation such as this is very hard to shrug off....