Facebook Puts Your Vote Up To A Vote
December 4, 2012

Facebook To Let Users Vote On Their Right To Vote

Michael Harper for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online

Facebook is once again defending and explaining new privacy policy changes after users complained about a proposed change to not only data rights, but also their ability to vote.

The social giant is now putting their users´ right to vote up to a vote, and should more than 30% of all Facebook users agree, then the voting privileges will be left intact.

Under the current model, Facebook explains any changes they make to their Statement of Rights and Responsibilities, or SRR. If these explanations get over 7,000 comments, then they are put up to a vote by the whole of the Facebook community.

Just before Thanksgiving, Facebook announced some changes to their Data Use Policy and SSR, as well as suggesting they throw out the voting model.

“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,” wrote Facebook´s vice president of communications Elliot Schrage in a late-November blog post.

“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.”

The proposed changes, including putting changes to a vote, received more than the required 7,000 comments and therefore will now be put to a vote.

Facebook users have until December 10 at 12 PM PST to cast their vote on any changes to the Data Use Policy, the SSR and the privilege of voting. Users can vote here.

According to a new blog by Schrage, voting is being facilitated by a third party app built on Facebook´s own platform. The results of the vote will then be tabulated and audited by an independent company to ensure accurate results.

As pointed out in their earlier post, Facebook had proposed a system wherein users could submit their complaints and concerns about any future policy changes in a forum. These concerns would be submitted directly to Facebook´s chief privacy officer, Erin Egan.

Regular and live-streamed webcasts would also be held wherein Egan would address these concerns directly to the viewers.

Facebook will also be holding a live webcast this morning, December 4 at 9:30 PST to answer more questions concerning these policy changes.

Voting for voting began yesterday and already one Web site is saying Facebook users are being very clear about where they stand. According to AllFacebook.com, in the first day of voting, the results have been greatly skewed in favor of keeping the existing documents (which means keeping the ability to vote) as opposed to accepting the proposed documents.

Facebook users had the chance to vote on different proposed policy changes this past June, but according to Mashable, only 342,632 users voted. An impressive number for a small survey, but considering Facebook´s 900 million global users, this number represents 1 in 2,600 users, or just 0.036%. In order to have reached the 30% during the June election, 230 million people were needed to vote. In order to preserve the vote, there will need to be a similar turnout over the next week.