Facebook tweaks its terms to address ads, privacy

Social network's new rights and responsibilities document has a few subtle changes that will make it harder to use its members for advertising.

Facebook on Tuesday proposed a new version of its Statement of Rights and Responsibilities document, which acts as a terms of service for its users.

One of the larger changes is clearer language of Facebook's share to everyone feature, which is now an integral part of the social network's updated search engine . The new wording makes it pretty clear that anything users post with the "everyone" designation can be seen by the entire world, not just users on the service.

The company also added a new section which details proper use of its pages features, including who is able to administrate them, and provisions that require all content on the pages to be public and able to be indexed by search engines.

On top of that, the company is locking down sponsored status updates. These are user updates which have been paid for by an outside company, effectively turning users into marketing mouthpieces. What's unclear, however, is how Facebook intends to police items that are not known advertising schemes, such as people's personal businesses. Although under the updated document, it's a little clearer that that has to be done on Facebook pages instead.

Some other changes include:
• Not being able to place a "become a fan" widget inside of an advertisement (however you can still place it next to one).
• Clearer language on what kind of information third-party applications get access to.
• A ban on attacks that could disable the service (such as DDoS attacks , which are all the rage right now ).
• A ban on pyramid or multilevel marketing schemes.

As with all other proposed changes to the Rights and Responsibilities document, Facebook offers users a chance to provide feedback before the new rules are made final. To view an older version of the updated document, you can hit Google's cache.

About the author

Josh Lowensohn joined CNET in 2006 and now covers Apple. Before that, Josh wrote about everything from new Web start-ups, to remote-controlled robots that watch your house. Prior to joining CNET, Josh covered breaking video game news, as well as reviewing game software. His current console favorite is the Xbox 360.

 

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