[LINK] The Facebook Principles

Roger Clarke Roger.Clarke at xamax.com.au
Wed Apr 8 08:10:38 AEST 2009

[To put a copy into the archives ...]

The Facebook Principles

We are building Facebook to make the world more open and transparent, 
which we believe will create greater understanding and connection. 
Facebook promotes openness and transparency by giving individuals 
greater power to share and connect, and certain principles guide 
Facebook in pursuing these goals. Achieving these principles should 
be constrained only by limitations of law, technology, and evolving 
social norms. We therefore establish these Principles as the 
foundation of the rights and responsibilities of those within the 
Facebook Service.

1. Freedom to Share and Connect

People should have the freedom to share whatever information they 
want, in any medium and any format, and have the right to connect 
online with anyone - any person, organization or service - as long as 
they both consent to the connection.

2. Ownership and Control of Information

People should own their information. They should have the freedom to 
share it with anyone they want and take it with them anywhere they 
want, including removing it from the Facebook Service.

People should have the freedom to decide with whom they will share 
their information, and to set privacy controls to protect those 

Those controls, however, are not capable of limiting how those who 
have received information may use it, particularly outside the 
Facebook Service.

[So much for a few centuries of breach of confidence law]

3. Free Flow of Information

People should have the freedom to access all of the information made 
available to them by others. People should also have practical tools 
that make it easy, quick, and efficient to share and access this 

4. Fundamental Equality

Every Person - whether individual, advertiser, developer, 
organization, or other entity - should have representation and access 
to distribution and information within the Facebook Service, 
regardless of the Person's primary activity. There should be a single 
set of principles, rights, and responsibilities that should apply to 
all People using the Facebook Service.

[So now we can change the name:
WAS:  Social Networking Services
IS:   Marketing Networking Services]

5. Social Value

People should have the freedom to build trust and reputation through 
their identity and connections, and should not have their presence on 
the Facebook Service removed for reasons other than those described 
in Facebook's Statement of Rights and Responsibilities.

[I'm not quite clear how the title and the text connect]

6. Open Platforms and Standards

People should have programmatic interfaces for sharing and accessing 
the information available to them. The specifications for these 
interfaces should be published and made available and accessible to 

7. Fundamental Service

People should be able to use Facebook for free to establish a 
presence, connect with others, and share information with them. Every 
Person should be able to use the Facebook Service regardless of his 
or her level of participation or contribution.

8. Common Welfare

The rights and responsibilities of Facebook and the People that use 
it should be described in a Statement of Rights and Responsibilities, 
which should not be inconsistent with these Principles.

9. Transparent Process

Facebook should publicly make available information about its 
purpose, plans, policies, and operations. Facebook should have a town 
hall process of notice and comment and a system of voting to 
encourage input and discourse on amendments to these Principles or to 
the Rights and Responsibilities.

10. One World

The Facebook Service should transcend geographic and national 
boundaries and be available to everyone in the world.

[As long as you can read English?]

Roger Clarke                                 http://www.rogerclarke.com/
Xamax Consultancy Pty Ltd      78 Sidaway St, Chapman ACT 2611 AUSTRALIA
                    Tel: +61 2 6288 1472, and 6288 6916
mailto:Roger.Clarke at xamax.com.au                http://www.xamax.com.au/

Visiting Professor in Info Science & Eng  Australian National University
Visiting Professor in the eCommerce Program      University of Hong Kong
Visiting Professor in the Cyberspace Law & Policy Centre      Uni of NSW

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