Have your say in Facebook’s site governance vote

5 Jun 2012

Facebook has made some changes to its Statement of Rights and Responsibilities and Data Use Policy and it is putting this to a vote from users.

Elliot Schrage, vice-president of communications, public policy and marketing at Facebook, announced on Friday that Facebook was to hold its second global site governance vote.

In an effort to promote transparency and accountability, Facebook’s proposed changes to its Statement of Rights and Responsibilities (SRR) and Data Use Policy have already been presented to users to read and provide feedback before coming into effect. More than 150,000 comments were made on proposed policies and dozens of changes have been made in response.

Now that the feedback period is over, the final proposed documents have been prepared and Facebook is asking users to play their part in shaping the site’s policies by placing their votes.

Votes for users

Naturally, voting takes place via a Facebook app developed especially for the purpose and an independent auditor will examine the results to ensure accuracy.

If more than 30pc of all active registered users vote, the results will be binding. However, if voter ‘turnout’ is less than this, the result of the vote will be taken under advisement.

Changes to the SSR and Data Use Policy include the addition of examples and detailed explanations for better understanding, improved legal compliance, the incorporation feedback from regulators and individuals, and amendments to account for new services such as Timeline.

Further information and links to the amended documents, plus an explanation of the changes, are available through the app and, as can be expected, users can share their vote in their news feeds once it has been cast.

Facebook’s first site governance vote took place in 2009 when the site had 200m users and was a small private company. The site’s governance procedure has not changed since then and the success of this vote will be reviewed to determine if the process still works for the growing community.

Voting opened on 1 June and will end on 8 June at 5pm. Final results will be announced the following day.

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.