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05/14/2021

Liberty Pulse

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Facebook Should Follow Its Own Principles

1 min read

Facebook Should Follow Its Own Principles

About a year ago, Facebook suffered a tremendous consumer backlash over its changes to the Terms of Service. To quell the uproar, Facebook introduced a set of Principles. Through a “Facebook site governance” vote, users voted on whether these Principles should serve as the foundation for governing the site.” At the time, the company trumpeted the success of the vote, by which about 75% of voters selected the new Facebook Principles: “We strongly believe that our proposed documents satisfied the concerns raised in February.” As Facebook explains, the Principles are “the foundation of the rights and responsibilities of those within the Facebook Service.” A year later, the foundation is cracking.

Now Facebook flatly contradicts its own stated Principles. The contradictions are clearly shown in Facebook’s widely panned ([1][2][3][4][5]) response to New York Times readers’ questions on the social network’s brave new privacy practices. A reader asked Elliot Schrage, Facebook’s vice president for public policy, the key question: “Why can

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