Facebook Takes Away Users' Right to Vote on Privacy Policy
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Facebook adopts new privacy policy terms, which takes away users' right to vote on privacy policy changes.


  (Image Source: Mashable )   BY HARUMENDHAH HELMY ANCHOR ZACH TOOMBS    Let this be a lesson in the importance of voting . Facebook has now taken away its users right to vote on the site’s privacy policy changes.   “Now Facebook can make any changes it deems necessary without any consent.”  (Video: WXYZ)   In case you missed it, here’s the backstory: Facebook put proposed changes to its privacy policy out to vote last week — letting users know they can vote to stick with the current policy, or allow Facebook to adopt a new one.   When polls closed today – users overwhelmingly voted to keep the existing policy. Just take a look at this graph! But here’s the catch: for the votes to matter, 30 percent of Facebook’s population have to cast their votes.   Let’s do the math. Facebook has more than a billion users. That means Facebook expected 300 million people to get out the vote — almost three times more than the turnout for the 2012 U.S. presidential elections.   One Slate writer says : “ The only chance of that happening would have been if Facebook had explained the vote clearly and promoted it tirelessly on its site, and even then the chances would have been slim to none. In the event, it did neither[.]”   As it turns out, fewer than 700,000 actually cast their virtual ballots on the Facebook Site Governance page. That’s sixty-seven tenths of a percent of alllllll Facebook users.   So, even though the users who did vote said no to the new privacy terms, Facebook’s going to adopt the new terms anyway — because turnout less than 30 percent makes the poll results “advisory.”   Under the new terms, Facebook is taking away its members’ ability to vote on policy changes. VentureBeat’s Ricardo Bilton blasted Facebook’s attempt at democracy, saying the most recent poll was designed to give its members the false idea that their voice matters.   If Facebook really did want to do give members a voice, Bilton says: “it would simply lower the 30 percent threshold … — or get rid of it altogether. But ... doing so would risk giving its community actual power, and that’s the last thing Facebook wants.” But Bilton also says he’s also glad Facebook is now openly taking away the members’ voting ability — because at least they’re being upfront about it.   And a writer for Forbes says Facebook never really asks for opinions about real privacy issues anyway:   “This year … [t]hey have expanded their scope by tracking what you do on other websites across the Internet – they are even trying to learn what you are buying offline.  They have also just recently settled a lawsuit for using your identity to “sponsor” products without your permission or knowledge.”   Now, what to expect from the new privacy terms? Mashable lists a few changes users can expect.   ·       Facebook will be able to more easily share data with affiliate companies such as Instagram ·       Facebook will specify that advertisers can show political or religious content ·       It will be easier for people to find your profile through search Facebook began allowing users to vote on policy changes back in 2009. In June of this year, a poll on data use policy got out only a bit more than 300,000 votes.