Facebook rejects results of data use poll

Facebook will not be bound by the results of a poll on its proposed data use and governance changes, citing insufficient participation, even though the vast majority of users rejected the changes.

The Facebook Site Governance Vote closed yesterday, with results revealed today showing that of 668,872 participants in the poll, only 79,731 voted in favour of the proposed changes while 589,141 users oppose them.

Yet Facebook officials called the turnout “low” compared to the 300 million – or 30 percent of users – stipulated, and said results would be deemed “advisory” and not binding upon the social media site’s bosses.

This is in spite of the fact that the poll – which based on the number of participants was the most extensive in Facebook history to date – saw 88 percent vote against the changes, giving Facebook a seemingly clear response from its active user base despite the failure to meet the targeted participation.

The changes proposed by Facebook principally impact on governance and data use issues. Facebook is proposing to do-away with the voting system, which it only implemented in 2009, in favour of a question-and-answer type feature, which would see Chief Privacy Officer of Policy Erin Egan respond to comments and questions via regular podcasts.

Notable data use changes mainly involved greater sharing of users’ data between Facebook and its affiliates – such as the continental branches of Facebook, and recently acquired photograph sharing app Instagram.

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