In nod to users, Facebook opens vote on terms of service
After outraged users slammed the social networking site, Facebook gives them the vote
Computerworld - About two months after outraged users hammered Facebook Inc. for taking too much control over their content, the social networking site is now giving users a chance to vote over site governance issues.
After users rose up and complained about the new terms of service en masse, Facebook announced that the site was returning to its previous terms-of-service plan. About a week later, Facebook announced that it would be seeking user comments on two new documents - Facebook Principles and its Statement of Rights and Responsibilities.
"We encourage you to participate and make your voice heard," wrote Zuckerberg. "For this vote and any future one, the results will be binding if at least 30% of active Facebook users at the time that the vote was announced participate."
Since Facebook announced just last week that it had snagged its 200 millionth user, that means 60 million people will need to vote to make the results binding.
"I think these new terms on data ownership and usage will go a long way toward assuaging the feelings of those who protested earlier," said Dan Olds, principal analyst at Gabriel Consulting Group. "Facebook is at least nodding to user concerns by allowing voting, but the requirement that 30% of active users need to weigh in in order for the vote to be binding is a bit onerous. I'd be surprised if they get anywhere close to that number of responses."
Olds also noted that users might be happier with the new documents, which cut out some of the technical jargon and back off on content ownership issues.
"Facebook's new terms and conditions are much more readable than the typical legalese in the last version," he added. "It clearly outlines Facebook's terms of service in a way that should be understandable to the majority of users. The terms are also more user-friendly. A few weeks ago, users choked at the idea that Facebook owned all of their content until the end of time. The new, and much more reasonable, policy is that Facebook can use the data until the account is closed or the data deleted by the user."
People can vote until 11:59 a.m. PDT on April 23. The results will be tallied by an independent auditor, according to Facebook.
Read more about Web Apps in Computerworld's Web Apps Topic Center.
- Six Ways Your Small Business Can Save with Internet Phone Service Traditional phone systems present two main problems for businesses: limited features and high costs. As a result, small businesses are migrating to Internet...
- Face Time Anytime Real-time communications facilitates team collaboration from nearly anywhere in the world. With facts and figures you can use to justify an investment
- Now is the time to implement a video conference solution Video conferencing is getting a lot of buzz lately due to the recent cost decrease, making it tangible for many law firms. It's...
- Video drives engagement Achieving maximum results means building a solid platform and network infrastructure. As digital age unfolds, it's clear that the ability to communicate effectively...
- LIVE EVENT: 5/7, The End of Data Protection As We Know It. Introducing a Next Generation Data Protection Architecture. Traditional backup is going away, but where does this leave end-users?
- On-demand webinar: "Mobility Mayhem: Balancing BYOD with Enterprise Security" Check out this on-demand webinar to hear Sophos senior security expert John Shier deep dive into how BYOD impacts your enterprise security strategy... All Web Apps White Papers | Webcasts