Facebook - www.facebook.com


Contract Title Facebook
Contract Website www.facebook.com
Contract Application Facebook website & app
Contract Type website with app
Contract Date 01/30/2015
TOS Website facebook.com/terms
Total Rating 57.78

Total Page Count 18

Terms: 8 pages; Cookie Policy: 4 pages; Data Policy: 6 Pages. And this doesn't include ALL parts of their terms of service, which is outrageous. I love how companies try to dupe users into thinking that the TOS they are signing is not as long as it is by breaking them up into multiple policies. Don't be duped! When you click to agree, you agree to EVERY ONE of their agreements. Very sneaky and misleading.


The Right to Privacy 0 out of 5

BAD ASPECTS: Your name, pic, and content will all be shared with advertisers. They collect SO much information about you--including when others share a photo about you, when others send a message to you, ALL of your interactions. They share with multiple third parties through third party logins. They track every think that you 'like', so they can assemble a very clear profile of 'who you are'. They have a separate data policy, that is separate from the privacy policy. It's very unclear whether a mere law enforcement request would be complied with absent a subpoena. They hold onto your data way too long. Hard to find a contact email. They do not discuss account recovery and cell phone porting in a proper manner.

GOOD ASPECTS: Very few. They make an effort to be clear.


The Right to Equal, Fair, & Reasonable Expression 0 out of 5

BAD ASPECTS: Can censor you at any time, and often does, citing very unclear violations of the TOS. They can remove anything they want at any time. Very unclear how they determine what constitutes 'intimidation', 'hate speech', etc. "If you violate the letter or spirit of this Statement... we can stop providing all or part of Facebook to you." --- What IS the 'letter or spirit'? Extremely unclear, and unfair. Sometimes, they will block you from posting for a period of time, and this is TERRIBLE, because you get censored/blocked, and no one knows you are censored/blocked. Worse, they shouldn't be censoring people randomly anyway. Finally, it's terrible when it happens, because you are prohibited from also getting in touch with clients, if you also use Facebook for business. Facebook's censorship rules are as bad as China, where I once lived and worked for a year. (Worse? Because Facebook is an American company and you'd expect better).

GOOD ASPECTS: None.


The Right to Control My Intellectual Property 3 out of 5

GOOD ASPECTS: One of the only IP policies that offers a non-exclusive REVOCABLE license, unless already shared by others and still on the other people's accounts. It's rare to see a 'revocable' license, which is nice. You own all your content and information.

BAD ASPECTS: The IP license you provide is sub-licensable and transferable, and they can use what you post for ANY reason.


The Right to Sue 2 out of 5

California Law.

GOOD ASPECTS: Your right to sue is not abridged, and recovery is not limited.

BAD ASPECTS: All disputes must occur in US District Court for Northern California or in a state court in San Mateo County. Recover is limited to the greater of $100 of whatever you paid Facebook in the last 12 months.


The Right to Low-Cost Arbitration 0 out of 5

BAD ASPECTS: You seem to give up your right to arbitrate in section 15, though this is wholly unclear. If arbitration IS allowed, recovery is limited, as above. And venue would still be in California.

GOOD ASPECTS: None.


The Right to Join a Class Action 5 out of 5

No waiver. Good!


The Right to No Hidden Terms or Fees 1 out of 5

BAD ASPECTS: Way too many sub-policies. Each Facebook agreement you read requires you to click on a link to read yet another agreement. Not cool, and wholly unfair. If you live in California, you waive California Civil Code section 1542.

GOOD ASPECTS: They say that they will give you the opportunity to comment on any revised terms before continuing to use their services. I really like that they seem to want to solicit feedback, but is this feedback used to help create a better and more fair TOS? All major companies should, prior to a new TOS/privacy policy being released, ask all users for feedback to make adjustments prior to release. Companies should want to hear from those who will soon be irrevocably bound by the terms...


The Right to Fair Process & To Be Heard 0 out of 5

BAD ASPECTS: Can remove you at any time. No due process. No warning process. No opportunity to correct. No defense period. No fair and impartial decision making process.

GOOD ASPECTS: None.


The Right to Appeal & The Right to Return 1 out of 5

BAD ASPECTS: The appeal process is restricted and deficient. There is no clear second-chance/right to return policy.

GOOD ASPECTS: There are limited appeal rights, but only regarding IP issues.


The Right to Reasonable Terms 0 out of 5

BAD ASPECTS: In addition to the TOS and Privacy Policy, there is also a separate data policy, and another separate platform page. Why are there multiple agreements? It's hard to find them all. The very first paragraph of the TOS tells me I also need to read the 'Facebook Principles', the 'Facebook Platform Policy', the 'Payment Terms Policy', the 'Facebook Services', the 'Self-Serve Ad Terms' policy, and more--all external links. There is a blanket ban against convicted sex offenders, but as a former public defender, there are varying degrees of offense, and more often than not, decent people are having their lives destroyed because of a sex offender conviction, even though they are not a danger to anyone, adult or child. In no way does TOSfairness (or me personally as a reviewer) condone legitimate bans on sexual predators, but this sex offender policy should be on a case-by-case basis. Finally, there are special terms for those in California, and in Germany. Why not equal for all? I had this at a 1 until I couldn't find a contact email anywhere, even for their legal department.

GOOD ASPECTS: It was better than I expected it to be, but since I can't find an email anywhere, they get a zero.


Historical Fairness 5.78 out of 10
Historical User Ratings 10.0 out of 10
Historical Lack of Lawsuits or Arbitrations 10.0 out of 10
Public Placement of TOS Fairness Score & Link 20.0 out of 20
Total Rating 57.78 out of 100
Additional Note

I can't find a contact email ANYWHERE, and I spent at least 10 minutes searching. I will therefore simply send to (guesses) legal@facebook.com and support@facebook.com. I understand that for a company as large and influential as Facebook, and particularly one that relies wholly on advertising as its core business model, there are going to be privacy issues, etc. But given how much money they are making ($1 billion profit in 2017, I believe), they should really pay each highly active user a portion of the profit in return for giving up SO MUCH private data. It could even be a contest: the 250,000 most active users each year receive $50. At least there is an incentive for giving up so much privacy...

Ways to improve

1. Reduce the size of the agreements, and COMBINE them all. Stop being sneaky.
2. Allow users to PAY to opt-out of ALL data sharing. I'm sure many people would pay $50/year to know that none of their data is being sold to advertisers.
3. Stop randomly censoring people, stop blocking their posting rights, and stop kicking people off without due process. The fact that I compare your policies to China should be very disturbing. You should be inspiring China to become more open; not validating their censors.
4. Define what constitutes a TOS violation that is not based on arbitrary definitions of murky terms
5. Do not sublicense IP content. Do not use user posts for anything not related to their use of the service.
6. Allow lawsuits in a user's home city, worldwide, and do not restrict recovery, or the right to arbitrate.
7. Make the TOS the same for all users.
8. Create fair process and a right to be heard.
9. Create an appeals process and a right to return policy.
10. Add your score and link to your TOS review promptly in accordance with our rating system to keep the 20 points currently allocated. If you post the link and score, let us know.

Review Status Completed

First Name Rating Comment

Reviewed by the following attorneys and/or law students:


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