Report: Facebook planning to ask users about changing site voting rights

Report: Facebook planning to ask users about changing site voting rights

Summary: UPDATED: Facebook is planning to ask its one billion users if the social network can remove the ability for users to vote on site changes.


Just ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday weekend in the United States, Facebook could be dropping a potential bombshell on its users worldwide soon.

The world's largest social network is reportedly planning to send an email blast to all of its one billion and counting users on Wednesday with the intention of asking them about potential governance changes, according to TechCrunch.

The major point of the expected memo is that Facebook will be asking users if the Menlo Park, Calif.-based corporation can remove the ability for users to vote on site governance changes and alterations.

For reference, under the current model the rule is that if proposed changes snag over 7,000 comments, then all users have the chance to vote on them. After that, if more than 30 percent vote for or against the alterations, the final verdict is binding.

Thus, technically speaking, this proposed change to remove the right to vote on site governance changes would be subject to this 7,000-comment rule.

However, that doesn't mean that Facebook users will be left in the dark without any voice about governance changes whatsoever.

Penned by Elliot Schrage, vice president of communications and public policy at Facebook, here's an excerpt about the replacement plan:

  • Ask the Chief Privacy Officer: We'll be launching a new feature on our Facebook and Privacy Page ( to let you submit questions about privacy to our Chief Privacy Officer of Policy, Erin Egan.
  • Facebook Live Events: Erin Egan will host webcasts on a regular basis to address your comments and questions about privacy, safety and security.

A full copy of what is said to be the intended blog post, which again is expected to be published at some point today, is available on TechCrunch.

UPDATE: Facebook has published the official blog post concerning the proposal for voting changes as well as the proposed data use policy and a lengthy legal statement of rights and responsibilities.

Topics: Social Enterprise, Consumerization, Legal

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  • They might as well

    Because so few people actually take part in these things, that 30% of users never has a hope in hell of being reached. As such none of these votes are ever binding, so when they do them the people who voted just end up moaning when Facebook makes the decision themselves (which is right if only 0.1% or so of users decide to vote)
    • So few people vote because facebook doesn't tell people.

      Amazing how they can put sponsored status at the top of your newsfeed, but not notifications about changes you can vote on.
      • this is exactly right

        I am not crying conspiracy
        but I have been using FB (fairly casually) pretty well since it became public, and didn't even know I could vote on these things
        it is hardly front and centre on the ... well any page
        they have pages to help your find friends and set up your homepage/timeline etc
        but I have never seen this mentioned, and as pointed out, it certainly doesn't receive the type of attention that adds get.

        Mind you, at the same time I don't pay for FB, so I have a kind of "you get what you pay for" attitude towards it personally.
  • When was anyone ever consulted?

    There have been lots of unwelcome changes - the Timeline, for example - where many many more than 7,000 people would have commented. Had anyone known that it was possible and how.
  • Why the fuss??

    was going to make a different comment, but:

    1. Do I own any Facebook shares??? NOPE
    2. Do I pay to use Facebook??? NOPE
    3. Do I want to have a say about the things Facebook does or wants to do???? NOPE
    4. Do I want to vote on Facebook??? NOPE
    5. Do I use facebook?? YEP

    people get their knickers in a knot everytime Facebook makes changes that they dont like, conveniently forgetting that use of Facebook is FREE, FREE, FREE.

    people also complain about privacy issues on Facebook. My answer?? If you are so stupid as to put your life on Facebook for everyone to see, make stupid comments for everyone to read, do you realy deserve privacy?? Do YOU want privacy or are you seeking attention??

    So whats the problem with Facebook making changes in the way it operate/presents itself/changes the look of its web presence??? Oh come on, lets stop making mole hills into mountains.
  • Facebook

    Facebook would be much better served telling it's members how both parties in 1981 colluded to undermine the Vote, by agreeing to not pursue vote fraud, here is the link...