Facebook blames policy changes on low user vote

Despite claiming to offer its users some semblance of democracy, Facebook has made the changes it wants to its policies – blaming users themselves for not bothering to vote on a topic which received little promotion from the company.

Last week, the site opened the polls to give its users the chance to vote on how Facebook handles people’s data, and, ironically, a plan to get rid of the site’s policy to let users vote in the first place. But it has now said that participation was not high enough to reach a consensus from its users.

According to Facebook’s governance page, around 670,000 users voted, with roughly 88 percent rejecting the new changes. However, the total number of votes needed to stop the company doing as it pleased was short of the 30 percent of the site’s billion active users, which Facebook required to make the vote count.

It has taken this as a sign to do as it pleases, despite those who did take the time to vote asking it not to make the changes.

Elliot Schrage, Vice President, Communications, Public Policy and Marketing recently caused an outrage after telling users that Facebook would be making updates to two policies which governed the site. This included the Data Use Policy, which explains how the company collects and used data when people use Facebook, and the Statement of Rights and Responsibilities (SRR), which explained the terms governing the use of services.

However, with the low vote count, Facebook has spun its way into doing what it likes, placing the blame solely on its users. It means that user data can now be shared between Facebook-owned services, primarily Instagram, and will remove controls over who can message users.

Voting, which is triggered after 7,000 people comment on a Facebook update post, will also be abolished.