Facebook has always made a big show of the fact that they post their proposed policy changes for public comment before implementation. It’s a time consuming process that always leads to 500 plus comments from people who think Facebook is invading their privacy and selling their soul for marketing purposes. I’m not saying those people are wrong, I’m just saying, what’s the point?
Has Facebook ever passed on a plan because people didn’t like it? Whether they did or not, it looks better when you ask permission up front.
Now, Facebook doesn’t want to do that anymore. They want to remove this comment period so they put that idea up for a vote and guess what – the overwhelming majority of voters wanted to keep things as they are.
So Facebook is going to give in to the popular vote, right? Wrong. Facebook set the rules before the vote began, saying that they would only be obligated to accept the results if 30% of Facebook users cast their votes. Since Facebook has more than a billion users, they’d need millions of members to respond. What they got is .2%. (That’s not my math, so feel free to correct me if that’s wrong.)
Facebook says the poor turn out is not their fault. They claim to have made every effort to guide each one of their billion members to vote, but I don’t recall seeing an email or even a FB message with a link to the polls.
Setting the actual numbers aside, did anyone think Facebook was really going to stop the plan if the people voted no? No.
Does any of this matter? No.
Facebook is going to do what’s best for them and their investors. Asking the population to vote on any changes in how the system runs is insane. We know that negative people are more likely to respond than positive ones and most people won’t bother either way. So Facebook is right about one thing, under 30%, it’s not really a good measure of how the community feels as a whole.
How are people taking the news that they lost the vote? Not well.
Most are saying that Facebook did a lousy job promoting the vote and that the voting system failed on many occasions. Others are accusing them of ignoring the clear majority regardless of the fact that it was well under the 30%.
Here’s my favorite comment of all:
And you wonder why Facebook wants to do away public commenting on their policies. The comment list also includes people who say they’ll be deleting their account ASAP. Give them a week, and they’ll be back. Because as much as users complain about Facebook privacy, security, etc. very few of them are leaving. So Facebook doesn’t have much to lose by not listening, do they?
What do you think? Is Facebook making a mistake but ending their public comment period on proposed policy changes? Or no big deal?