This week may be your last opportunity to vote on proposed privacy changes on Facebook. The social media site has opened up polls for users to vote on a number of policy updates to the site's Statement of Rights and Responsibilities and Data Use Policy. Among those changes would be the abolition of users option to vote on changes in favor of a question-submission and webcasts.
Voting opened Tuesday and will end on Monday, Dec. 10. Thirty percent of Facebook's population would need to vote against the changes to stop them from passing. The poll closes at 3 p.m. on Dec. 10.
So what changes are being proposed? According to TechCrunch, the changes boil down to four updates:
- Facebook will eliminate voting on site governance changes (such as this one) in favor of taking high-quality feedback from users through a question-submission system and webcasts.
- Facebook can share data to and from its affiliates, including recently acquired Instagram.
- Facebook may change who can contact you via Messages.
- Facebook may clarify who can view your content after you hide it from your Timeline.
In the past, Facebook users have been able to vote in support or opposition to changes made by the social network's privacy policies. The "high-quality feedback" system that Facebook is now eyeing would be more constructive, said Facebook officials. According to Facebook's Public Policy and Marketing Vice President Elliot Schrage in a letter that appeared on Facebook:
In the past, your substantive feedback has led to changes to the proposals we made. However, we found that the voting mechanism, which is triggered by a specific number of comments, actually resulted in a system that incentivized the quantity of comments over their quality. Therefore, we’re proposing to end the voting component of the process in favor of a system that leads to more meaningful feedback and engagement.
The changes will pass unless 30 percent (about 300 million) of Facebook's population vote against them. If history is any indication, this may be a tall order. According to Schrage, only about 10 percent of Facebook's users ever submit votes.
To retain the ability to vote on Facebook's policy changes and reject the proposed modifications, choose "Existing Documents."
To pass the proposed changes and support the new governance system, choose "Proposed Documents."