Ted Ullyot, Facebook’s General Counsel, reported the governance vote results that 74.37% of the 665,654 cast ballots in support of the new Statement of Rights and Responsibilities and Principles (Statement). The new Statement was adopted with less far than 1% even of Facebook friends casting ballots. It’s refreshing that there was a democratic vote on the largest social network in the world, but amazing that so few voted.

Statement Requires 30% to Vote

Well that was the plan, but with such a small turn out Facebook decided that the 30% cannot even be the threshold. Facebook will go back to the drawing board to determine what percentage should be the minimum, and it will be a low percentage.

Democracy Web 2.0 Style

The reason for the governance vote to begin with was that Facebook was changing policies only to get Facebook friends vocal pushback. Facebook provided democracy by allowing the New Statement to be vetted in virtual town hall forums and a vote of the friends. As the Internet evolves in the future perhaps we can look back at this governance vote as a sea change that social network users should have a say in the governance. However, since so few individuals ever read terms of service or privacy policies this may also be the only vote ever conducted on social networking governance.

What do you think?

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