AirTalk for December 6, 2012

Facebook puts voting to a vote

Facebook users can vote to keep the existing policy and preserve their right to vote, or to accept the policy changes and relinquish voting rights.

Though many Facebooker may not have known it, the social networking site’s users have been partially in control of changes and additions to the policy and privacy. Users have had the option to vote on governing policy since 2009, but now, the company is on track to take back control, with proposed new documents that would disallow the user voting process.

One final vote will determine whether this new policy goes into effect – the catch is that, to prevent changes, the vote must reach 30% of Facebook users – about 300 million people. Considering past votes, it’s unlikely that users will do much to sway this decision. The most recent Facebook policy vote reached only about 380,000 users. The current vote to save voting rights has already surpassed that with over 400,000 votes and counting, but will users be able to reach the minimum in time to prevent change?

Facebook gave users one week, from December 3rd to the 10th, to cast their votes. Should users be allowed to vote on Facebook governing policy? If this vote is unsuccessful, do you trust Facebook with your privacy and content? Would you leave the site over these changes, or are they relatively unimportant?

Guest:

Will Oremus, staff writer and lead blogger for Future Tense, Slate’s tech blog


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