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This article was published on December 10, 2012

Facebook absolves its democratic structure as voting falls far short of key threshold

Facebook absolves its democratic structure as voting falls far short of key threshold

Facebook is shutting down its voting site in less than 20 minutes that allowed users to vote on proposed policy and site governance changes it was recommending. Currently there are over 665,000 votes cast, but they fall far short from the 30% threshold needed in order to make the changes binding. Because the vote failed to garner the required number of active voters to participate, the opinion given will be merely taken as “advisory”.

At stake are updates to the network’s Data Use Policy and the Statement of Rights and Responsibilities. Perhaps the most important part of this change is, if passed, user data could be provided to Facebook’s partners, specifically Instagram, in order to create a cohesive network similar to Google. Consumer groups have already come out opposed to this change and this update could ultimately wind up with a court deciding.

Per Facebook’s policy, all active users are encouraged to vote and had from December 3 until today at noon to cast their ballot. If more than 30% of active users participate, then the results will be binding. However, since it appears that it won’t even get that far, the company will take the feedback under advisement and can proceed with their plans to make changes to the policy, or maybe even update it to assuage any fears users may have.

Currently, there are over 586,000 votes in favor of keeping the existing policy in place with over 79,000 voting for the new updates. As Buzzfeed notes, the number of users that voted in this instance roughly matches what it was the last time Facebook ran through this exercise.

Facebook Site Governance Vote


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