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Facebook Users Up in Arms Over Content Ownership

A significant, yet stealthy, change to social networking site Facebook's Terms of Service (TOS) agreement has some of the Web site's users up in arms, reports FOXNews.

As do many sites of its ilk, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg stipulated in the original TOS that the site was entitled to use patrons' information or images, so long as their profiles remained on the site. Now, however, through the TOS, the site is laying claim to a "perpetual license," meaning that a dissatisfied -- or, for that matter, deceased -- Facebook user would always have a presence on the site, whether desired or not.

Some users -- like blogger Ed Champion -- have refused to continue their involvement with Facebook, while celebrity blogger (and celebrity, himself) Perez Hilton has called for a boycott. Of course, whether or not Champion and Hilton themselves are involved with the Web site, their old wall postings and images would be involved, remaining on the site for perpetuity.

In the new policy's defense, Zuckerberg wrote in his blog that, without this new stipulation, old messages or images would be lost from a current user's profile as soon as a former user resigned from the site. Although he didn't say so, we could imagine that letting such data escape into the stratosphere could not only be a source of irritation for users, but of legal trouble for the site, itself. Just think: If somebody had sent threatening or blackmailing messages via Facebook, only to later delete their profile (and thus evidence of their offense), where would that leave the victim? Probably, to their detriment, without much grounds for their intimidation case, or, to Facebook's detriment, with a lawsuit against the site in hand. [From: FOXNews]
Next: '25 Things You Should Know About Facebook'

Losing Face on Facebook

    Facebook is going to rewrite the book on standard office excuses, at least for its shortsighted users. Kevin Colvin, an intern at Anglo Irish bank, thought that had an ironclad story when he asked off to attend to a "family emergency." When his boss was alerted to this fresh picture posted to his Facebook profile during his absence, that story lost just a tad of its believability -- unless he was curing Aunt Hattie with his magical powers and a potent hoppy elixir. We're sure that posting the picture seemed like a good idea at the time, Kevin, but you were sadly mistaken. Same goes for that costume.

    Students at Glen Ridge High School in New Jersey were shocked and confused when the news trucks rolled up to get the scoop on a set of Facebook photos. Obtained by a nosy parent, the pictures featured underage drinking that led to the suspension of school athletes. Many saw the role of the photos in the punishments as legally questionable, but despite organized protests and other umbrage, many students opted to just take their own racy Facebook pictures down as soon as possible. Live and learn, everyone -- just don't post visual evidence of it happening on your profile.

    Even the charmed lives of beauty queens can be dragged through the mud by Facebook photos taken far away from the pageant stage. Miss New Jersey Amy Polumbo discovered this firsthand over the summer when she was the target of a strange "blackmail plot" centered on profile images of her partying and carrying on in a less than royal fashion. She ended up releasing the photos herself, and soon everyone was wondering what the fuss was all about -- from venture capitalists to gossip reporters, Facebook has a tendency to get people riled up.

    Thinking about shoplifting some clothing? Here's a tip -- think twice before posting pictures of yourself modeling the hot merchandise on Facebook. Two students at Radford University in Virginia learned this lesson the hard way when a store owner was tipped off and found the incriminating images on Facebook. A stroke of the 'print' button, a trip to the police office, and the bust was complete.

    This story -- women who show little discretion in their alcohol consumption and even less when documenting their misadventures on their profiles -- seems to have started the most recent wave of Facebook embarrassments. While it's difficult for many to understand the personal pride and motivation behind such excess, it's even more mind-boggling to know that these exploits are being glorified online for all to see. Mom must be proud, and potential employers are surely beating down the doors.

Tags: facebook, license, privacy, social networking, SocialNetworking, top