Facebook reaches agreement with state governments

Facebook has reached an agreement with the National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) that will allow state governments to take advantage of the social networking site in the same manner as federal agencies.

The move mirrors a similar agreement between Facebook and the General Services Administration in 2009 that led to a surge in federal agencies on Facebook. Facebook agreed specifically to strike the indemnity clause and a clause that requires legal disputes regarding the site to be settled in California courts from its terms of service.

“We are very appreciative that Facebook has addressed the crucial issues that state governments have raised in the standard click-through agreement,” said Kyle Schafer, NASCIO president and West Virginia chief technology officer. “We believe this will allow broader and more appropriate use of this important tool by state governments across the country.”

NASCIO and Facebook announced the agreement on Wednesday, though the revised terms of service will apply to state and local government agencies already on the site. The two sides began talks on the agreement more than a year ago.

"Facebook is becoming an essential tool for democracy, enabling interactive discussions between governments and citizens. We are pleased to have been able to work with representatives from state and local governments in the United States to ensure that they can have a presence on Facebook," said Facebook spokesman Andrew Noyes.