Facebook To Eliminate User Voting On Policy Changes
November 22, 2012

Facebook Proposes Changing The Way You Vote On Policy Changes

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online

Facebook announced on Wednesday several updates to its governing policy, including one that removes users´ ability to vote to overturn future policy decisions.

“Today we are proposing some updates to two documents which govern our site: our Data Use Policy, which explains how we collect and use data when people use Facebook, and our Statement of Rights and Responsibilities (SRR), which explains the terms governing the use of our services,” wrote Elliot Schrage, Vice President of Facebook´s Communications, in a blog post on Wednesday.

Schrage said Facebook would eliminate its current voting mechanism that gives users the ability to strike down any policy change that generates more than 7,000 comments, and receives the vote of 30% of all active registered Facebook users.

“We are proposing to restructure our site governance process,” wrote Schrage.

“In the past, your substantive feedback has led to changes to the proposals we made. However, we found that the voting mechanism, which is triggered by a specific number of comments, actually resulted in a system that incentivized the quantity of comments over their quality. Therefore, we´re proposing to end the voting component of the process in favor of a system that leads to more meaningful feedback and engagement.”

As a replacement for the current voting mechanism, Facebook is planning two new feedback programs -- a forum where consumers can submit questions directly to the Chief Privacy Officer, Erin Egan, and regular, live-streamed webcasts with Egan.

If the changes Facebook proposed on Wednesday are allowed, these new services will be substituted for the vote.

Facebook also announced several minor changes to language in its Statement of Rights and Responsibilities and Data Use policies.

These include changes to the way consumers can filter private messages, and changes that allow Facebook and its affiliates, such as Facebook Payments and Instagram, to share information.

Anyone interested in giving feedback on the proposed changes to try to trigger a vote can leave a comment on Facebook´s Site Governance Page before 9:00 AM PST on November 28.

Once the comment period is over, Facebook will host a Facebook Live event with Egan, who will respond to the comments.