Should Facebook changes be democratically chosen?

Summary:If Facebook uses its new Questions feature to appeal directly to its users, we may see less controversies from privacy to new layouts.

Do you remember each time Facebook changed the layout, and the ruckus and controversy that it caused - in some cases making the headlines on news bulletins? 

Facebook Questions was relaunched earlier this week to a wider number of users of the social networking site.

However, Facebook may have just enabled its 'democracy feature' to the best part of 600 million users, with the entire site set to have the Questions feature enabled later in the year.

Since its first foray into the wider public, the vast majority of questions have been direct and to the point - the usual stuff as one would expect, from browser and operating system choice, down to which is the better university.

By asking questions of your fellow peers, the idea is to ask serious - and equally mind-numbingly dull and frivolous questions, naturally - from your trusted friendship group.

But instead, this could be one step towards 'governance' of the site. That is, if Facebook uses its own methods and directly from the users themselves.

So far, Facebook has asked "What person in your current or past life have you been most surprised to connect with on Facebook?" as part of its fan page. Already, if this trend continues, the site could well ask users on feedback on features in future in a more direct, to the point and obvious fashion.

One of the major gripes I've had, along with many others of my generation, is the perception of insincere lack of response to feedback from the users to Facebook itself. Though time and energy has clearly gone into major site redesigns and privacy settings updates, many users have been very unhappy with the changes.

It was only earlier today that BNET columnist Steve Tobak argued that major players in the technology and online scene, Google, Facebook, Twitter and Yahoo! are not close enough to customers and could face trouble as a result.

Perhaps now Facebook will enact its own feature on itself, to ensure that the site can be democratically moved forward in the right direction - in the direction that the users themselves want to see.

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Topics: Social Enterprise, Collaboration, Government, Government : US

About

Zack Whittaker writes for ZDNet, CNET, and CBS News. He is based in New York City.

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