Facebook u-turn after information rules outcry

Social networking site Facebook backed down today after a wave of complaints over changes to its rules over holding personal information.

Changes to site terms of use were thought to mean Facebook would claim rights to pictures and profile information and hold on to them even if accounts were deleted.

Since the move two weeks ago, the site has been inundated with complaints from the Facebook community and announced today that it would revert to its old rules.

Account holders found a message on their sites informing them of the change when they logged on today.

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg also posted an explanation on the Facebook blog.

He wrote: "Over the past couple of days, we received a lot of questions and comments about the changes and what they mean for people and their information.

"Based on this feedback, we have decided to return to our previous terms of use while we resolve the issues that people have raised."

But he said there would be changes to the Facebook rules in the future, but in language that would "clarify" the site's position.

He added: "Our next version will be a substantial revision from where we are now. It will reflect the principles I described yesterday around how people share and control their information, and it will be written clearly in language everyone can understand."

Facebook users were advised on the change with a notice posted to their pages when logging in to the service.

The website, which was founded in the USA in 2004, has an estimated 175 million users.