Yesterday the voting period ended on Facebook's third and final Site Governance vote, and we told you that the results overwhelmingly supported keeping the current SSR and Data Use polices. Of course, we also told you that it didn't matter because not enough people voted to make it binding. With that, Facebook ended its attempt at "democracy" by eliminating voting that doesn’t matter with a vote that didn’t matter.
Today, as mere formality, Facebook's VP of Communications and Public Policy Ellliot Schrage made it official. Facebook has officially chosen to adopt the proposed changes to its policies.
"While participation in the vote was minimal, this experience illustrated the clear value of our notice and comment process. Your substantive feedback on our proposals during the seven-day comment period, along with discussions with our global regulators, resulted in clarifications and revisions to those proposals. For example, we added new language to clarify our proposed updates on sharing information with our affiliates and our privacy controls. After considering these factors, we have decided to adopt the proposed updates to our SRR and Data Use Policy." he said in a Governance note.
The final tally was 589,141 against the changes and 79,731 for. That's a total of 668,872 total votes, or less than 1% of the total Facebook users base. The results would have been binding if 30% of Facebook users would have participated.
Schrage says that Facebook did their part to inform users of the vote, a statement which will see no argument here. It turns out that users simply aren't that interested in policy changes or keeping their ability to vote intact.
"We made substantial efforts to inform our users and encourage them to vote, both through emails and their news feeds. Despite these efforts and widespread media coverage, less than one percent of our user community of more than one billion participated. As stated in both policies, the results are advisory unless more than 30% of users vote"
As mentioned before, this is merely a formal announcement from Facebook, as we all knew what the results were going to be from day one. Facebook says they will attempt to solicit even more user feedback on proposed policy changes, and "explore and implement new, innovative and effective ways to enhance this process in order to maximize user engagement." But the vote is now dead. Now, we can move on.