Facebook proposes abolishing user votes on privacy changes

Facebook has proposed ending user votes on privacy-related changes.
(Karen Bleier / AFP/Getty Images)

Facebook has proposed taking away users’ ability to vote on certain privacy policy changes and restructuring the social network’s governance process.

Currently, the Menlo Park-based social network allows users to vote if a proposed change to the policy receives more than 7,000 comments. Once a vote is triggered, if more than 30% of Facebook members participate, the results of the balloting stand.

In a post Wednesday, Facebook said the current system has become outdated because with 1 billion members, getting 7,000 comments is easy, but getting 300 million members to vote is a tough task.


“We’re proposing to end the voting component of the process in favor of a system that leads to more meaningful feedback and engagement,” Elliot Schrage, Facebook’s vice president of communications, public policy and marketing, said in the post.

Instead, the company wants to have a system that relies solely on the feedback users give during a seven-day review-and-comment period.

Additionally, the company would introduce an “Ask the Chief Privacy Officer” feature so that users can send questions about privacy directly to Erin Egan, Facebook’s chief privacy officer.

Egan would also hold webcasts on a regular basis to address users’ questions and concerns regarding privacy on the social network, the company said.

The proposal to change the voting process must be approved using the current voting process.

If the proposal does not obtain 7,000 comments by 9 a.m. PDT on Nov. 28, it will go through without a vote. The proposal has received about 75 comments so far.


Besides abolishing users’ voting rights, Facebook also proposes other, smaller changes in the post.


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