Shady New Facebook ‘Terms of Service’ Update Has Users Suspicious
Everyone on Facebook got a vague and poorly explained Terms of Service update notice, and nobody trusts it. At about 5 pm PT Monday, Facebook users across the United States received a notice that Facebook was making some manner of change where they could “remove or restrict access to your content.” So what’s the deal with this Facebook “Update to Our Terms?”
Facebook has updated its terms of service. Effective October 1, 2020. pic.twitter.com/CrE1qdIPri
— Anna Khait (@Annakhait) September 1, 2020
Join our weekly newsletter so we can send you awesome freebies, weird events, incredible articles, and gold doubloons (note: one of these is not true).
The message everyone got says “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 to Facebook.”
Disturbing new addition to #Facebook terms of service that could be used to justify online censorship, particularly with govts using restrictive national laws to order social media platforms to censor information critical of the govt or monarchy in violation of #OnlineFreedom pic.twitter.com/08IfS4vwSP
— Ananya Ramani (@AnanyaRamani) September 1, 2020
Facebook being Facebook, they are totally unclear on what exactly they are doing here, and why. But we have educated guesses.
The proposed changes in Australia could also contribute to the spread of disinformation, since news from legitimate news sources would be harder to find https://t.co/Cbi05Xodv6
— The New York Times (@nytimes) September 1, 2020
AUSTRALIAN LEGAL RULING
The New York Times reported Monday that Australia might require Facebook to pay news organizations for sharing articles on their platform. That’s not a law yet, but it’s working its way through Australian Parliament. It’s the possible the move is because of that law, and Facebook would just remove your posts — not because they are wrong or harmful, but because you shared some Australian news story, and Facebook doesn’t want to pay the news site that published the piece.
I wonder if this is at all related to Trump’s executive order on social media? Probably. https://t.co/OzqaRzlf86
— brad larry (@BradyLawrence) September 1, 2020
TRUMP’S EXECUTIVE ORDER ON SOCIAL MEDIA
You might recall Trump’s executive order on social media companies from May, after Twitter started flagging his Tweets. That order revised Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act which basically says that social media companies cannot be held liable if people post terrible things on the social media platforms.
Since Trump complains that there is an “anti-conservative bias” in social media, his executive order attempts to address that. Facebook’s October 1 update says the change is to “avoid or mitigate adverse legal or regulatory impacts,” which could be an indication that they’ll just start removing shit Trump doesn’t like to avoid fines.
— Paula Chertok? (@PaulaChertok) September 1, 2020
ELECTION INTERFERENCE MEASURES
Yet another story just broke about Russian interference in the presidential election, so maybe Facebook is going the extra mile to ensure that doesn’t happen again. Haha, yeah right!
#Facebook has new terms of service where they can delete your content so they can't get sued. Not because it's harmful or dangerous, but so they can't get sued. Let that sink in.
— Jeff (@JeffJJIV) September 1, 2020
TYPICAL FACEBOOK FUCKERY
Or maybe this is just Facebook swinging their power over users just because they can, and wants the broadest set of rules possible for removing content. Notice their wording about “adverse legal or regulatory impacts.” This has nothing to do with resposible content moderation, and everything to do with Facebook covering their ass.