Facebook Wants To End Voting On Privacy

  • Will keep seven-day comment period
  • Will continue to inform users of "significant changes"
  • Will provide additional notification mechanisms

Facebook is proposing to do away with the practice of letting users vote on changes to its privacy policies.

  • Will keep seven-day comment period
  • Will continue to inform users of "significant changes"
  • Will provide additional notification mechanisms

Facebook is proposing to do away with the practice of letting users vote on changes to its privacy policies. However, it will still let users comment on proposed updates.

In 2009, CEO Mark Zuckerberg implemented that allowed users to voice concerns about changes to Facebook’s Statement of Rights and Responsibilities (SSR) and Terms of Use by publicly posting comments supporting or opposing new measures. Its voting mechanism is triggered only if at least 7,000 people comment on proposed changes. A measure of 30 percent of support would be binding for the company.

However, it seems that the system has become one that emphasizes quantity of responses over quality of discussion, with most users leaving just one or two-word comments instead of more in-depth responses.

Now, Facebook want to do away with that and instead it will continue to inform users of "significant changes" to its privacy policy, called its data use policy, and to its statement of user rights and responsibilities. The company will keep its seven-day comment period and take users' feedback into consideration.

“We found that the voting mechanism actually resulted in a system that incentivized the quantity of comments over their quality,” says Elliot Schrage, Facebook's vice president of communications, public policy and marketing. “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.”

"We will also provide additional notification mechanisms, including email, for informing you of those changes." 

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