Technology

Facebook Users May Not Have a Say in Future Policy Updates

| by Michael Allen

Facebook is asking its users to vote on some proposed policy changes and it may be the last time, unless a third of their users (300 million) log-on to vote against an update to Facebook’s Data Use Policy before next week.

About 538,000 users have voted, but it’s unlikely another 299.5 million will vote before the December 10 deadline, reports RT.com.

Elliot Schrage, Facebook's vice president for communications, public policy and marketing, wrote on a blog post: "In the past, your substantive feedback has led to changes to the proposals we made. However, we found that the voting mechanism, which is triggered by a specific number of comments, actually resulted in a system that incentivized the quantity of comments over their quality. Therefore, we're proposing to end the voting component of the process in favor of a system that leads to more meaningful feedback and engagement."

Facebook sent an email to users informing them of the change and how to vote, but voting is not that easy.

In order to vote against the proposed change, Facebook users have to visit the Facebook Site Governance page, then select the option ‘Existing Documents: The current SRR and Data Use Policy.'

Electronic Frontier Foundation's activism director, Rainey Reitman, said: “It is simply impossible to get 30 percent of the users to vote on anything on Facebook within 30 days.”

The Electronic Frontier Foundation and the Center for Digital Democracy have both signed a letter sent to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg that says, in part, “because these proposed changes raise privacy risks for users, may be contrary to law and violate your previous commitments to users about site governance.”

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