Facebook users will vote on policy changes, possibly for the last time

When Facebook recently announced that it plans to change the way users can influence changes on its privacy policy, privacy advocates were not amused.

The Electronic Privacy Information Center and the Center for Digital Democracy have made their feelings known by stating in a letter to Facebook that the proposed changes “raise privacy risks for users, may be contrary to law, and violate your previous commitments to users about site governance.”

Facebook’s suggestion of swapping user voting with a seven-day period for review and posting comments that will be “carefully considered” before adopting the changes has also elicited the response of over 19,000 users so far, most of which are asking Facebook to put the decision to a vote.

According to the currently rules, any of the changes that draw out more than 7,000 comments will be decided on through user voting, and this may be the last time they are capable of doing so.

Still, the main problem with this whole thing is that the rules also state that for a change to be accepted or rejected, 30 percent of Facebook’s users must vote for or against it. With over 1 billion active users, it’s practically impossible to gather enough votes to keep users’ voting right.

Frankly, I don’t know why Facebook is bothering with the changes – given the general apathy of the majority of users on the subject of privacy, they could keep the voting in place and still get their way every time without incurring the wrath of privacy advocates.

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