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HindustanTimes Sat,30 Aug 2014

Social Media

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Facebook privacy policy vote in: users don’t press ‘Like’
AFP
June 11, 2012
First Published: 16:49 IST(11/6/2012)
Last Updated: 18:43 IST(11/6/2012)
New Facebook app angers Christian groups. Photo: AFP / Karen Bleier

For the second time in history Facebook let its users vote on proposed changes to the social network’s privacy policy.



Facebook users were given the opportunity to decide if the social network should keep its existing Statement of Rights and Responsibilities (SRR) and Data Use Policy or change it to the updated version which was introduced in May this year.

Voting took place from June 1 through to June 8 and saw around 297,883 people -- approximately 87% of all voters who participated -- opt to keep Facebook’s existing SRR and Data Use Policy.

Despite voters’ overwhelming preference for the former policy, Facebook said the number of users who voted was too small to be representative of the entire Facebook community and said it would go ahead with the proposed changes.

“Despite our significant efforts to encourage users to vote, only 342,632 people participated, which amounts to a tiny fraction of our user base of more than 900 million,” said Elliot Schrage, Vice President, Communications, Public Policy and Marketing at Facebook.

He added, “Today Facebook will adopt the proposed updates to our Statement of Rights and Responsibilities and Data Use Policy, which you can view by using the following links: SRR and Data Use Policy.”

The social network previously said it would require more than 30% of its site’s users to vote on the changes for the results to be binding.

Users, however, are claiming Facebook didn’t do enough to promote the voting opportunity. Most said they didn’t even know about the vote until it was too late. 

“What outreach effort?” questioned Facebook user John Meyer in the comments on Facebook’s Site Governance page. “FB did NOTHING to alert users of this vote.”

Janet Kline Cook asked, “Couldn't your ‘substantial outreach effort’ have included something as simple as a message that showed up on each and every facebook user's page????”

“FB needs to notify every user about proposed service changes, not just the ones who like this annoying page,” added Ader R Oks.

Bruce Cairns said, “It's a great system they've got. 87% vote against but because they didn't tell anyone about it or provide any way for people who did know to actually vote via the whole range of FB apps, they can just ignore the result.”

Lorraine McGuinniety called for Facebook to hold the vote again. “Facebook should have sent a notice via FB messages AND an email to each & every user with a subject title that highlighted the fact there was a vote. I knew nothing about this & I'm a pretty engaged & proactive user who regularly reassesses privacy settings.


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