Less Than 1m Users Participate In Facebook Vote, New Policies Likely

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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Not enough members participate for the Facebook vote to be binding,

Facebook is likely to implement revisions to data sharing and governance polices after fewer than one million users voiced their opinion on the proposals in a public vote.

The results showed that 668,872 members of Facebook’s estimated 1 billion active users had cast their vote since the polls opened last week, with a majority of 88 percent opposing the changes. However the social network requires that at least 30 percent of its user base must participate for the vote to be binding.

“The Facebook Site Governance vote is now closed,” said Facebook. “Thank you for your participation. We will be announcing the results and the next steps regarding the governance process shortly, so check back soon.”

Facebook PollFacebook vote ends

The proposals were first revealed last month, with Facebook arguing that they would allow it to build a more complete profile of its users and target advertisements more effectively. This would be achieved by sharing data with acquisitions such as Instagram.

The changes are opposed by a number of privacy groups, but the most controversial proposal was the one that would dispense with the existing process that allowed users to vote on changes to its policies and terms of service.

Under the existing rules, if 7,000 comments were made on a proposed change to the site’s service, a user vote was triggered. However Facebook believes that with its huge membership base, this is no longer suitable. Instead, it proposes to replace voting with regular Q&A sessions with the company’s chief privacy officer Erin Egan and webcasts about privacy and security.

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