The deadline to vote on Facebook’s new policy ending users’ right to vote on policy changes expired at noon Pacific Standard Time today. According to Facebook’s rules, they needed thirty percent of the site’s user base to vote on a change to ratify it, which means they needed a staggering 300 million users to weigh in on the issue or else Facebook would implement its new policy of doing away with users’ right to vote. As of Monday morning, about 600,000 people had voted, which, if you have a calculator near you, is far from 300 million votes.
Of course, there were several issues leading up to the vote. NBC News reported that many users thought that the email announcing the vote that came from Facebook was a hoax. Many users also cut-and-pasted a fake copyright notice that went viral, announcing that they owned everything they posted on Facebook.
While many are decrying users’ lack of interest in the issue of voting, experts are pointing out that, despite the elimination of the democratic process on Facebook, the site will still be held plenty accountable by both the public and the media. “They’re so big now that every change they make will be scrutinized by major media outlets, business publications, blogs, and of course, users, too,” said Dan Olds, an analyst for The Gabriel Group, in an interview with Computerworld. “Their moves will get even more attention, both good and bad. So they’re still going to be accountable for what they do privacy-wise; it just won’t be by a formal user vote.”
What do you think about Facebook users’ lack of voter turnout? Do you think Facebook’s proposed changes will really change all that much?
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