Facebook Opens Up Voting On Proposed Policy Changes

Josh WolfordSocial Media

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Now that the period to comment and give your feedback on Facebook's proposed policy changes has ended, the time has come to vote on them. Today, Facebook's VP of Communications, Public Policy and Marketing Elliot Schrage announced the opening of the second-ever Governance Vote for the site.

Back it March, Facebook posted new versions of their Statement of Rights and Responsibilities as well as their Data use Policy. That opened up a comment period where users could review the proposed changes and speak their mind regarding how they would edit or scrap each of them.

In April, Facebook announced that they had heard the user feedback and had decided to revise some of those proposed changes. They also opened the comment period back up for another week. That period ended on April 27th.

And today, Facebook is looking to score some transparency points by holding a site governance vote where users can choose between the revised policies or the current policies.

Here's what Schrage has to say:

In March, we restarted this process by posting revised versions of our SRR and Data Use Policy for notice and comment. We proposed changes to these documents to, among other things, improve them by adding examples and detailed explanations to help you better understand our policies and practices, comply with the law, incorporate feedback from regulators and individuals like you and reflect the addition of new products and services like Facebook Timeline.

Since then, we reviewed your comments and incorporated your feedback into some of the proposed changes. The comment period for submitting feedback has ended, but you can still have a role in helping to shape the policies that will govern Facebook. Today we are posting the proposed revised versions of both documents and asking you to join our second global site governance vote. Voting will be facilitated by an application developed on Facebook Platform by Wildfire, and an independent auditor will examine the vote tabulation to further ensure accurate results.

The voting begins today and end on June 8th at midnight EST. You can check out the changes to the Statement of Rights and Responsibilities here and the changes to the Data Use Policy here. Or you can get to that when you cast your vote using the Site Governance app.

Facebook says that the results of the vote will be binding if 30% of all active registered users participate. Any less than that and the results are merely "advisory."

"We don't pretend to have the answers to these novel governance challenges," says Schrage. "One thing we do know is that your participation and partnership in exploring possible approaches is vital. That’s why we’re look forward to your vote on our newly revised SRR and Data Use Policy."

The first and only other Facebook site governance Vote happened in 2009, where 665,000 votes were cast and users overwhelmingly chose the proposed documents over the standing documents (74.4%)

Josh Wolford
Josh Wolford is a writer for WebProNews. He likes beer, Japanese food, and movies that make him feel weird afterward. Mostly beer. Follow him on Twitter: @joshgwolf Instagram: @joshgwolf Google+: Joshua Wolford StumbleUpon: joshgwolf