Facebook moving forward with site governance changes

Summary:Facebook is nixing voting rights as not enough members voted to prevent the change in the first place.

Facebook is moving forward with its revised site governance and data use policies after not enough of its users voted to block the proposals.

To recall, right before Thanksgiving , Facebook sent out an email blast to all of its one billion and counting users, asking them to basically vote on removing the power to vote on site governance changes and alterations.

Up until now, the rule was that if proposed changes churned up more than 7,000 comments, then all users would have the chance to vote on them. After that, if more than 30 percent vote for or against the alterations, the final verdict would be binding.

On December 3 , Facebook announced that the proposed changes did snag enough comments, so it was opening up the vote to its user base of more than one billion worldwide to determine the future of voting on site governance changes.

As it turned out, only 668,872 people voted. Out of that pool, the vast majority (589,141) opposed the changes to voting rights and recommended that Facebook keep its existing SRR and Data Use Policy.

However, the vote overall didn't meet the 30 percent requirement, so Facebook can go ahead with changing its user policies.

Elliot Schrage, vice president of communications, public policy and marketing at Facebook, lamented in a blog post on Tuesday that "despite these efforts and widespread media coverage, less than one percent of our user community of more than one billion participated."

Nevertheless, Schrage continued that "while participation in the vote was minimal, this experience illustrated the clear value of our notice and comment process."

However, maybe it was the poor turnout that best reflects that changes to this approach are needed.

Schrage mentioned in the blog post that Facebook is planning "to explore and implement new, innovative and effective ways to enhance this process in order to maximize user engagement."

Previously, Facebook offered at least two possible replacement strategies, which included regular webcasts to address privacy and safety concerns as well as an online question box for Facebook's chief privacy officer, Erin Egan.

Topics: Social Enterprise, Smartphones, Tablets, Developer


Rachel King is a staff writer for CBS Interactive based in San Francisco, covering business and enterprise technology for ZDNet, CNET and SmartPlanet. She has previously worked for The Business Insider, FastCompany.com, CNN's San Francisco bureau and the U.S. Department of State. Rachel has also written for MainStreet.com, Irish Americ... Full Bio

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