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80,258 News Articles

8 times Facebook has had to back track

Hasty moves by the social network

Facebook has made a number of hasty moves that often result in public outcry and a need to reverse on them. We check out the social network's biggest flip-flops.

Memorial sites

Flip: By 2007 it had become common for people to mourn the deaths of friends by posting memorials to the deceased person's Facebook page. But Facebook's policy had been to deactivate the profile pages of deceased members 30 days after they died. Facebook cited privacy concerns for not allowing the pages to remain as memorials.

Flop: After numerous complaints, Facebook changed its policy. Its new privacy verbiage on the issue reads: "If we are notified that a user is deceased, we may memorialise the user's account. In such cases, we restrict profile access to confirmed friends, and allow friends and family to write on the user's Wall in remembrance. We may close an account if we receive a formal request from the user's next of kin or other proper legal request to do so."

The site was my idea, but here's $65m

Flip: Flipping and flopping have been a big part of Facebook's history since the very beginning. Mark Zuckerberg denied that he took the idea for Facebook from fellow Harvard students Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss after the Winklevosses and their partner Divya Narendra filed suit in 2004. In 2003, the twins and Narendra said, they had hired Zuckerberg to work on their social networking site ConnectU (originally called Harvard Connection). Shortly thereafter, Zuckerberg launched a similar site called thefacebook (and later just Facebook).

Flop: Zuckerberg strongly denied that he stole the idea from the Winklevoss twins, and at first he refused to settle. Eventually, however, Facebook paid a $65m settlement.

See also:

    1. Hasty moves by the social network
    2. Still more data made public
    3. The Beacon blunder
    4. Memorial sites

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