Facebook put to the vote: Do users stand a chance?

Facebook’s creator may have announced new terms and conditions following the privacy backlash earlier this year, but does the vote offer users a realistic hope in changing the rules?

COMMENT: Facebook has announced its new terms and conditions, not only compiled with help from users but with the ability for users to vote as to whether they like it or not.

Sounds very democratic of the site don't you think? But with the amount of users having to disagree before something is changed going up from 25 per cent to 30 per cent - around 60 million if the membership has exceeded the estimated 200 million - how can this possibly work out in favour of the subscriber?

I am sure there are plenty of people on Facebook who are politically minded or keen to have their privacy protected. Look at the backlash that happened over Facebook claiming ownership of user's uploaded content, for example. But to believe that over 60 million will all be made aware of the vote - it was posted on Zuckerberg's blog, not sent out on email - let alone have time to read through it all, make an educated decision and indeed vote by 23 April (yes we have only been given a week) is a bit far fetched.

There are extra measures put in, for example, you can only vote if you are an "active" user someone who has used the site in the past 30 days but how many of us just pop on to look at some photos in a lunch break or just to add a frustrated status update? Even as an IT journalist I do not spend every minute of the day on the Facebook creator's blog.

It seems to me the clever guys at the site are trying to win back on side those thousands of users and several branches of the media they upset when trying to utilise our content with a fantastic illusion of people power. Maybe I should not be so cynical, after all this is definitely a more positive step towards working for your users rather than the other way round, but I am not convinced this is the people's republic of Facebook quite yet.

Just try and exercise your right to vote if you can.

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