Today Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) is asking its users if they will waive their ability to vote on future changes to the site’s governance. The social media site is emailing its 1 billion users about the proposed modification. Right now the governance says that if at least 7,000 comments are entered on suggested changes proposed by Facebook, all users of the site can vote on them. If more than 30 percent vote on the suggested changes, then the decision stands.
Now Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) is trying to change the system by providing new features that would ask for feedback from site users. In order to block this change, first, Facebook users must leave at least 7,000 comments on it and then at least 300 million of them must vote against the change. If those stipulations are not met, then Facebook users will lose their ability to decide whether future changes to the site’s governance will occur.
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Also included in the proposed changes to the site’s governance are some minor changes to the site’s Statement of Rights and Responsibilities and Facebook’s Data Use Policy. Facebook users who are interested in trying to trigger a vote on these proposed changes can go here to leave a comment. So far it looks like only 60 comments have been left.
In exchange for users waiving their ability to vote against proposed site changes, Facebook says it intends to keep offering a week-long period for users to comment on its changes. Users can also voice their concerns with the site’s governance via the new “Ask the Chief Privacy Officer” feature. Privacy Officer Erin Egan will also have regular live online webcasts that will serve as a forum for users to voice their concerns.
In his post, TechCrunch’s Josh Constine said he spoke with Egan yesterday, and she told him that Facebook has outgrown its progressive voting system for site governance. After all, Facebook’s user population of 1 billion now makes it very easy to get 7,000 comments on proposed changes and very unlikely that 300 million Facebook users will vote to prevent changes from being made.
Constine also asked Egan if people like Max Schrems, who heads up the privacy activist group Europe vs. Facebook, had any effect on the latest proposed site governance changes. She told him that they believe Schrems and other privacy activists have been convincing people to comment without really understanding the proposed changes.
Constine said he believes that in order for Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) to move forward with future changes in its site governance, a compromise must be struck between Facebook management and site users.