Facebook implements new policy documentation, site governance votes are no more

12 Dec 2012

Following a site governance vote which was closed and tabulated yesterday, Facebook has decided to move forward with its proposed changes to its Data Use Policy and Statement of Rights and Responsibilities.

The key changes proposed in the documents refer to Facebook’s ability to share user data with its partners, such as Instagram. The changes also abolished the previous site governance voting process in favour of a system of ongoing engagement and feedback from users.

Less than 1pc of Facebook’s vast network of 1bn users voted in what has turned out to be the last-ever site governance vote. Despite 88pc being opposed to the changes, the numbers were not significant enough to have any effect.

“While participation in the vote was minimal, this experience illustrated the clear value of our notice and comment process,” said vice-president of communications, public policy and marketing Elliot Schrage in a note on the Facebook Site Governance page.

Schrage explained how feedback on the proposals during the seven-day comment period, as well as discussions with global regulators, such as the Irish Data Protection Commissioner’s office, resulted in clarifications and revisions of the changes.

“After considering these factors, we have decided to adopt the proposed updates to our SRR and Data Use Policy,” added Schrage, sounding the death knell for the voting process. Schrage then went on to say that dialogue with the community will be core to site governance in future and Facebook plans to explore and implement new ways to enhance this process and maximise engagement.

The revised Statement of Rights and Responsibilities and Data Use Policy can be viewed online.

Elaine Burke is the host of For Tech’s Sake, a co-production from Silicon Republic and The HeadStuff Podcast Network. She was previously the editor of Silicon Republic.