If you care about being able to voice your opinion on Facebook's future policy changes -- and have the site listen -- you'll want to to vote on its current proposed revisions. You might never have the chance to do so again.
Among the changes to its Data Use Policy and Statement of Rights and Responsibilities is a provision that would eliminate Facebook user's ability to vote on proposed policy changes before they were enacted. In a blog post explaining this provision, Facebook wrote that in the past user feedback had led to changes on the site, but the voting system "actually resulted in a system that incentivized the quantity of comments over their quality." With that, Facebook said they wanted to end the voting "in favor of a system that leads to more meaningful feedback and engagement."
But before enacting this new policy, Facebook is letting users have one last hurrah with voting before that opportunity could be gone forever. As of the time of this posting, those agreeing with the proposed changes is up to more than 26,000. On the other hand, those against the proposed changes number more than 186,000. Although this might seem like a lot, it's still very likely Facebook will go forward with the revisions. Why? Because in order for the vote to truly affect the proposed changes, 30 percent of the site's active users would need to vote against it -- that's more than 300 million users voting, according to CNET.
eWeek noted that only 342,000 people voted against Facebook's last policy update earlier this year.
Watch CNET's report on the Facebook's proposed revisions:
Some of the site's proposed data changes include being able to share the information it receives from you with its "affiliates," not just the advertising partners with whom your data is already shared. Facebook adds a phrase that it will help "people see and find things that you do and share" as it is allowed to use information it receives about you. It also included that even if you're not friends with someone, they might still be able to find your timeline through other people who might be sharing about you.
Here's how Facebook briefly described some of the data changes in its blog post:
- New tools for managing your Facebook Messages – replacing the “Who can send you Facebook messages” setting with new filters for managing incoming messages.
- Changes to how we refer to certain products, like instant personalization.
- Reminders about what’s visible to other people on Facebook. For instance, when you hide things from your timeline, those posts are visible elsewhere, like in news feed, on other people’s timelines, or in search results.
- Tips on managing your timeline. For example, you can use tools on your timeline or activity log to delete your own posts, or you can ask someone else to delete a post in which you’re tagged.
As for what a better system of engagement with overs over changes might look like, Facebook offered these as examples:
- Ask the Chief Privacy Officer. We’ll be launching a new feature on our Facebook and Privacy Page to let you submit questions about privacy to our Chief Privacy Officer of Policy, Erin Egan.
- Facebook Live Events. Erin Egan will host webcasts on a regular basis to address your comments and questions about privacy, safety and security.
Voting on the revisions began Dec. 3 and will continue through 3 p.m. ET on Dec. 10. You can vote on the Facebook changes here.