Social network giant Facebook launched its current site governance model in 2009 that gave users the right to vote on site governance issues. In fact, voting on certain design and policy changes has long been a feature of Facebook. Now, the company has sent emails titled “Updates to Data Use Policy and Statement of Rights and Responsibilities” to users saying that the social network wants to modify the site’s governance structure and remove the ability of users to vote on changes.
Before you proceed further, take a look at the email.
We recently announced some proposed updates to our Data Use Policy, which explains how we collect and use data when people use Facebook, and our Statement of Rights and Responsibilities (SRR), which explains the terms governing use of our services.
The updates provide you with more detailed information about our practices and reflect changes to our products, including :
- New tools for managing your Facebook Messages;
- Changes to how we refer to certain products;
- Tips on managing your timeline; and
- Reminders about what’s visible to other people on Facebook.
We are also proposing changes to our site governance process for future updates to our Data Use Policy and SRR. We deeply value the feedback we receive from you during our comment period but have found that the voting mechanism created a system that incentivized quantity of comments over the quality of them. So, we are proposing to end the voting component in order to promote a more meaningful environment for feedback. We also plan to roll out new engagement channels, including a feature for submitting questions about privacy to our Chief Privacy Officer of Policy.
We encourage you to review these proposed changes and give us feedback before we finalize them. Please visit the “Documents” tab of the Facebook Site Governance Page https://www.facebook.com/fbsitegovernance to learn more about these changes and to submit comments before 9 AM PST on November 28, 2012.
You can also follow and like the Site Governance Page for updates on this process and on any future changes to our Data Use Policy or SRR.
In the email above, Facebook has proposed to take away voting privileges from its users when it comes to important site governance changes. Why? Because Facebook has more than 1 billion users now and the social network is having a big issue with way the votes are handled.
In a blog post on Wednesday, Facebook said, “The current system has become outdated because with 1 billion members, getting 7,000 comments is easy, but getting 300 million members to vote is a tough task.”
Elliot Schrage, Facebook’s vice president of communications, public policy and marketing, has written on the company’s blog, “Our goal has always been to find ways to effectively engage your views when we propose changes to our governing policies. That commitment guided our decision in 2009 to launch an unprecedented process for user feedback. 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. In the coming weeks, we will roll out new ways of responding to your questions and comments about Facebook.”
However, the new modes will have various features including live, online events. Besides, there will be a section named “Ask the Chief Privacy Officer” on the site handled by Erin Egan, Facebook’s Chief Privacy Officer. Facebook users will be able to submit their questions and address concerns about privacy, security, and usage of personal data to Erin Egan and she will answer those questions or concerns within a seven-day review-and-comment period.
The question is, will Facebook be successful this time? Because Facebook held a vote past summer on proposed privacy changes, and the response was nothing but welcoming. Facebook mentioned that time more than 1 billion users noticed the voting process, but fewer than 10 percent of users had voted.
You can read through — and comment on — all the proposed changes under the “Documents” tab of Facebook’s Site Governance Page. Facebook wants you to leave any comments by 9 a.m. PT on November 28. Once the comment period is over, Facebook will host a Facebook Live event where Egan will respond to your comments.
Let us and the world know, to what extent you are satisfied with this decision of Facebook?