(from The Wired Campus, April 20, 2009 Jonathan Zittrain: A Bill of Rights for the Facebook Nation)
[…] in mid-February, Facebook posted a set of what its management seems to have thought were minor changes to its terms of service – the kind of things that just wouldn’t matter to its users. Instead a privacy panic ensued, reinforcing larger worries about Facebook’s power.
Facebook’s founder, Mark Zuckerberg, responded quickly – in plainspeak rather than legalese – and I credit his view that the changes in terms of service really weren’t meant to be a stealthy way of doing surprising new things with users’ information. But he used the occasion to offer an analogy:
“More than 175 million people use Facebook. If it were a country, it would be the sixth most populated country in the world. Our terms aren’t just a document that protect our rights; it’s the governing document for how the service is used by everyone across the world.”