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Sunday, March 3, 2024

Editorial: More transparency needed

Social networking website Facebook recently tried to change the End User License Agreement that must be accepted by anyone who wants to have an account on the website.

Thanks in large part to the observance of the website Consumerist, this did not go unnoticed by Facebook’s community, which eventually forced Facebook to revert back to the previous terms of use.

Despite Facebook’s willingness to revert to the previous terms, the initial attempt to change them indicates a larger problem. Facebook should have a more extensive product testing and feedback process, because clearly whatever system is in place is not sufficient enough.

The new agreement should have been discussed openly with users to get their opinion before implementing it. The news feed feature, introduced some time ago, also could have avoided much of the grief it got from users if there had been a beta testing process that was open to the public. Not implementing these policies gives users the impression that Facebook is trying to pull a fast one on them.

Facebook users should also learn from this experience. This incident has shown that Facebook is responsive when there is enough discontent. Their implementation of news feed controls in the past shows a willingness to work with users rather than against them. In the future, users should give the website the benefit of the doubt; it has nothing to gain by angering and driving away all its users.

This will hopefully encourage people to be more aware of license agreements. Though Facebook should have been more clear in what the changes to the EULA meant, users still agreed to them without reading them. It is technically their responsibility to read through it and see what they are signing.

Facebook should be more open about what it is doing or planning and users should be more aware.


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