We have all seen popups about the new terms of service update Facebook is implementing but how many of us have actually stopped to read that new terms of service update? Probably very few and well, according to Bloomberg it includes being able to take down or block any content that could cause ‘regulatory risks’ for the company.
Many have taken to the internet to voice their opinions on all of this and CE even wrote about how it feels more like true censorship than a mere service agreement update. According to Bloomberg, Facebook claims this change will allow them to push back against ‘a proposed law forcing the company to pay media firms for their articles.’ That in reference to something going on in regard to Australia. However, this change is global and affects us all.
The terms of service change goes as follows for those who did not stop to read it when it popped up for them:
“Effective October 1, 2020, section 3.2 of our Terms of Service will be updated to include: ‘We also can remove or restrict access to your content, services or information if we determine that doing so is reasonably necessary to avoid or mitigate adverse legal or regulatory impacts on Facebook.'”
While right now we aren’t exactly sure what kinds of content will be affected, with October coming quickly we will soon be well aware. Whether you’re for or against this change, there isn’t much that can be done and well, only time will tell just how serious it will be for those who use the platform. Until we know what can and will be removed through this update, most of us are just sitting in the dark waiting.
KFOR wrote as follows on this topic:
The terms of service update appears to expand Facebook’s ability to remove content if it feels the company could face legal ramifications. If you’re looking for further clarification on what type of content can be removed, you’ll likely have to wait until the terms of service take effect next month.
Immediately, reaction began to roll in on social media with users concerned the update amounts to online censorship.
“We will remove content not because it is incorrect, misleading, illegal, or spreads dangerous misinformation, but because removing it might help prevent us from getting caught allowing it,” posted one Twitter user.
It’s possible the move is linked to Facebook’s threat to block Australian publishers and individuals from sharing news stories on its platform. Facebook made the move in reaction to an Australian measure that would require it to compensate media organizations for its use of their stories. The social network said the policy would force it to pay arbitrary and theoretically unlimited sums for information that makes up only a small fraction of its service.
“It will become impossible to trust anything on FB so users will have to go elsewhere,” tweeted David Swan, Technology Editor at The Australian.
Other users believe the policy might be a good thing — noting Facebook could take down misleading and false information that easily spreads on its platform. However, plenty of others are less positive about the change noting it happens just days before the general election.
What do you think about all of this? I for one am confused and concerned. Things like this do not sound good no matter how you try to spin them.