Facebook wants to end user votes on policy changes

Facebook wants to end user votes on policy changes
Facebook: Putting the self in self governance

Facebook has outlined a new set of user policy guidelines, the highlight of which is a plan to prevent users vetoing future proposed changes.

In the "proposed changes to our governing documents" emailed to all users on Wednesday, Facebook said it had decided to remove the option for users to comment on planned policy changes.

In the past, the now-publicly-traded company had operated a system whereby if a proposed policy alteration received 7,000 user comments, a site-wide vote on its legitimacy would be triggered.

However, Facebook said the voting system was failing as a means of gaining quality user feedback and assured users they needn't worry because the government had been watching it since the stock floatation.

Incentivised quantity over quality

On the company blog Elliot Schrage, Vice President, Communications, Public Policy and Marketing, wrote: 'We are proposing to restructure our site governance process.

"We deeply value the feedback we receive from you during our comment period. 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 incentivised 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."

New Message filtering

Other policy changes suggested in Wednesday's posting will prevent users from blocking messages from other people on Facebook, in favour of a new filtering system.

Beyond that, the company now plans to share your data with other companies that it owns (i.e. Instagram) and will give users more opportunity to customise the information in their Timeline that is visible to others.

Take a look - perhaps for the last time - at the proposed policy changes. Users have until 9PM EST on Wednesday November 28 to attempt to shoot them down.

Chris Smith

A technology journalist, writer and videographer of many magazines and websites including T3, Gadget Magazine and TechRadar.com. He specializes in applications for smartphones, tablets and handheld devices, with bylines also at The Guardian, WIRED, Trusted Reviews and Wareable. Chris is also the podcast host for The Liverpool Way. As well as tech and football, Chris is a pop-punk fan and enjoys the art of wrasslin'.