Posted November 18, 2009 9:40 am by with 0 comments

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Share on FacebookBuffer this page

Facebook is updating its Privacy Policy. They did it the Facebook way, which is great PR. The company looks like it is taking care of business because it can say things like on their blog like

On Nov. 5, we wrapped up a week-long notice and comment period for a proposed revision to our privacy policy. This was a continuation of our ongoing effort to run Facebook in an open and transparent way. The goals of the revised policy were to make it more accessible and easier to understand.

Excellent buzzwords in there like open and transparent. In reality maybe they are trying to do that but how hard are they trying and in the end, does it even matter?

I ask this because although I use Facebook a fair amount (I check it every day but don’t get involved everyday) and I honestly was unaware that a review and comment period was even happening. Maybe I wasn’t paying attention (not the first time) but apparently I am not alone among the 300 million Facebook users.

Facebook’s blog continues

We’ve spent the last week reviewing each and every one of your comments. While a lot of people participated, the total number of people commenting did not reach the threshold of 7,000 that makes a vote necessary according to our Statement of Rights and Responsibilities. Because of this — and the fact that many of the comments were positive — we’ve decided to adopt the revised policy. We’ll be posting it in English, French, Italian, German and Spanish soon.

You remember the 7,000 Rule from earlier this year? Based on how Facebook defines ‘a lot of participation’ probably not. Go to the post announcing the review period and you will see about 1500 people ‘liked’ this which is not a comment and there were just 450 plus comments. Add in the approximately 1,400 comments on the various language announcements on the Site Governance Page and you get about 2,000 comments in total. Regardless of how Facebook positions it that is not ‘a lot of participation’. There are over 477,000 fans on the Governance Page alone and these are the people that supposedly even give a rip (I did join today, btw).

So what’s it all mean? It means that we are users and not participants in this community. People who read this blog are potential social media influencers and should probably get involved in shaping how this thing works. At least that seems to make sense. Until we vote though, there is little we can do or say because the 7,000 Rule is some great CYA for Facebook. So my question is do you even care what Facebook does with its policies? Also, if you feel wronged in the future by a policy and you haven’t done anything in the past to help shape it should anyone listen to any whining or complaining? Do you even have the right to complain? Just some food for thought.