Facebook Vote April 23 to Determine Terms of Use

Dennis Faas's picture

Not so long ago, Facebook took some serious slack for its decision to alter its privacy policy.  The new scheme, many worried, could have allowed third parties to tinker with user accounts even after they had been terminated. Thankfully, Facebook backed off and now it's turning to users for an alternative.

The original debate surrounded Facebook's terms of service policy. Early in February the social networking giant quietly unveiled a rather cold-hearted plan giving the site ownership of its users' accounts forever -- even if they decided to cut ties with the page. Understandably, users raged against the policy, and Facebook quickly dropped the issue. (Source: pcworld.com)

Search "Facebook Site Governance Vote"

However, since it seems intent on resolving the question once and for all, Facebook is now turning to its users for help. Soon, visitors to Facebook's site will be allowed to participate in one big vote on two important options:

  • A new and improved "Facebook Principles and Statement of Rights and Responsibilities (SRR)," heavily inspired by the flood of comments resulting from February's debate, or
  • The "Terms of Use" currently in place.

Those interested in taking part in the vote should do so prior to Thursday, April 23 at 11:59am Pacific time. A ballot page has been made available; just search for "Facebook Site Governance Vote" after logging in. (Source: cnet.com)

60 Million Votes Needed?

Unfortunately, it won't be easy to get the vote to stick. According to Facebook's own rules, at least 30 per cent of those people who have logged onto their accounts in the last thirty days must vote for the successful selection to be considered "binding". Given that Facebook boasts that it has 200 million active users, some 60 million will need to vote.

Option one's success would mean that Facebook would have to go through a series of votes like this one in order to tinker with its policies. That's clearly very important to a lot of people, but unless 60 million people make their voices heard, there's no guaranteeing Facebook's continued attempt to consult its users.

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