Facebook Dropping User Voting on Policies

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The latest round of Facebook update proposals and user-based voting on them has completed and, not surprisingly, the plan to drop the democratically-based user vote in favor of simpler (and more controllable) methods that have less user input.  The low vote count is no surprise, given the onerous requirements FB put on the number of votes required to not make this change – 30% of its users, or 300 million people.

Actual vote counts were in the neighborhood of 688,000, or just over half of one tenth of one percent of users (0.07%).  Of those, though, 88% said they wanted to keep things as they are, showing that at least amongst active (and aware) Facebook users, most want to be able to decide how the site does things like use their data or share it with others.

As TechCrunch notes, the new system will work like this instead:

Instead of putting changes up for comment and then a vote if 7,000 comments are received, Facebook will now attempt to pull in more qualitative feedback on how users feel about proposed site governance and policy changes. Users will be able to submit questions to the site’s Chief Privacy Officer Erin Egan and chime in on webcasts with Facebook’s policy team. Though this might be seen as a slight to users, the old voting system was badly broken. There was likely a better compromise available than simply eliminating the vote, but that time has passed.

Couldn’t agree more with that last sentence.  As it is, Facebook will receive feedback from users in a more roundabout way before implementing new policies and procedures.