Facebook users have one week to vote on voting rights

Facebook users are being asked to decide how they want their voice heard about future site governance changes.

Facebook users are being called upon by the makers behind the world's largest social network to vote on their voting rights.

After getting responses from Facebook users about proposed site governance changes, the Menlo Park, Calif.-based operation has opened up the online voting booth through next Monday, December 10.

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.

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.

Elliot Schrage, vice president of communications and public policy at Facebook, described a potential replacement plan, 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.

In another blog post published today, Schrage further explained that Facebook has since revised some of the proposed changes to the Data Use Policy after receiving user feedback:

For example, you asked us to clarify proposed language in our Data Use Policy explaining that we will share information with our corporate affiliates. This provision is standard in the industry and promotes the efficient and effective use of the services Facebook and its affiliates provide – for example, permitting information to be shared with our affiliates allows our users in the United States (whose services are provided by Facebook Inc.) to interact with our users in Europe (whose services are provided by Facebook Ireland Ltd.). We’ve revised this proposal to make it clear that the sharing of information among our affiliates is and will be done in compliance with all applicable laws, and where additional consent of our users is required, we will obtain it. You can learn more about this proposed change and others you asked about in our explanation of changes here.

Users can vote until December 10 at 12:00 PM PST. If more than 30 percent of all active registered users vote, the results will be binding. If turnout is less than 30 percent, the vote will be considered as advisory.

A full and revised explanation of the site governance changes is available now.