Is Facebook the Zimbabwe of the Internet? After this year’s terms-and-conditions fiasco, Facebook promised to let users vote on two sets of proposed changes. And this would be a compelling vote, with no less than 30% participation required to be binding.
As a Facebook user, I must say I had no idea this vote was happening. Neither did most other people, as the final participation rate was 600,000 out of 200 million, or .03% participation. Just a couple of orders of magnitude off.
The Register quotes Cambridge’s Jonathan Anderson:
”It’s their assumption of the language of democracy that I really object to. People had the choice between terms written by Facebook… or terms written by Facebook. It has successfully defused criticism by using no more than words. It is very disappointing that so much of the mainstream and technology press seem to have just swallowed this whole and parroted Facebook’s claims.”
Facebook’s GC, Ted Ullyot, concedes:
We’d hoped to have a bigger turnout for this inaugural vote, but it is important to keep in mind that this vote was a first for users just like it was a first for Facebook. We are hopeful that there will be greater participation in future votes. In the meantime, we’re going to consider lowering the 30-percent threshold that the Statement of Rights and Responsibilities establishes for a user vote to be binding.