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Facebook e-mails 1 billion users

by on22 November 2012


Privacy changes

Facebook has sent out what could be one of the world's largest "legitimate" mass e-mailings to date. The e-mail was sent to all one billion Facebook users of their proposal to modify the site’s governance structure and remove the ability for users to vote on changes to the policy.

The social media company wants to replace its current system which allows users to vote for or against changes. Currently the system allows for proposed changes that get over 7,000 comments, to be pushed to a ballot so that all users may vote, and if over 30 percent vote for or against the changes, their decision is binding.

The new system would focus on soliciting better feedback from users through new features, preventing votes from being triggered by "copy and pasted" comments by privacy activists. Facebook's proposal will continue to offer users a seven-day comment period on proposed changes to its governing documents. It will also offer two additional ways for users to voice their governance concerns.

One of these will be an “Ask the Chief Privacy Officer” which will allow direct questions to Erin Egan, Facebook’s Chief Privacy Officer. The other option will be when Erin Egan will hold scheduled town hall style live-streamed webcasts where users can ask questions about their issues. If the 7,000-comment threshold isn’t met for Facebook's current proposal, or if it is and fewer than 300 million users vote to block today’s proposal, users in the future will no longer be able to vote on site governance alterations.

In addition to this major change, Facebook has proposed several minor changes to the language in Facebook’s Statement of Rights and Responsibilities and its Data Use Policy.

Last modified on 23 November 2012
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