Facebook to adopt new rules despite vote shortfall

April 24, 2009 By BARBARA ORTUTAY , AP Technology Writer
Facebook logo

(AP) -- Facebook will adopt new rules governing the social network even though a vote fell well short of a minimum threshold.

The new documents specify, among other things, that users own their information, not . An earlier attempt to push changes led to user confusion and protests over who controls the personal information people share on the site.

More than 600,000 of Facebook's 200 million regular users voted over the past week, with nearly three-quarters in favor of the changes. Palo Alto, Calif.-based Facebook said Friday an outside auditor is verifying the results.

Ted Ullyot, Facebook's general counsel, said turnout is "a small number" compared with the site's user base. Facebook had set a minimum threshold of a 30 percent for the vote to be binding. That would have been about 60 million people, or about 100 times the actual turnout.

"We'd hoped to have a bigger turnout for this inaugural vote, but it is important to keep in mind that this vote was a first for users just like it was a first for Facebook," Ullyot said in a blog post, adding that the site will consider lowering that threshold for future votes.

Julius Harper, who co-founded a Facebook group in February to protest the changes to the site's terms of service, said Facebook could have done a better job advertising the vote.

"Not everyone was aware of what was going on," said Harper, a Los Angeles-based video game producer.

©2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Explore further: Facebook users' vote ending way short of threshold

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Tech titans join to study artificial intelligence

September 29, 2016

Major technology firms have joined forces in a partnership on artificial intelligence, aiming to cooperate on "best practices" on using the technology "to benefit people and society."

US prepares to cede key role for internet

September 29, 2016

The US government is set to cut the final thread of its oversight of the internet, yielding a largely symbolic but nevertheless significant role over the online address system.

MIT's flea market specializes in rare, obscure electronics

September 25, 2016

Once a month in the summer, a small parking lot on the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's campus transforms into a high-tech flea market known for its outlandish offerings. Tables overflow with antique radio equipment, ...

First test of driverless minibus in Paris Saturday

September 24, 2016

The French capital's transport authority will on Saturday carry out its first test of a driverless minibus, in the hope that regular routes for the hi-tech vehicles will be up and running within two years.

3 comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Islandbound
not rated yet Apr 24, 2009
Firstly, they should have kept the voting open for at least one week. I only saw the ad once on my profile and it really didn't specify what it was all about. I feel Facebook should have highlighted key parts of it saying it was critical to their security. Had I been better informed what I was voting on I would've voted.
LuckyBrandon
not rated yet Apr 25, 2009
this whole facebook shit is just a fad. IMO, they should just shut the whole stupid thing down and make bandwidth for a useful site...such as physorg.com ;)
MAndrewSprong
not rated yet Apr 25, 2009
Just trying to find the documents regarding the vote was a challenge. I wasn't able to find them until after the voting closed and the decision was made. I don't refute Facebook's ability to make their own choices, but to throw out this non-choice and then adopt it despite a lack of quorum seem a little odd. There was NO reason they couldn't have place a link to the documents when they posted the vote advertisement on everyone's pages. They essentially said "vote, but good luck finding what you are voting on, and hey guys, we aren't going to pay any attention anyway".



I applaud Facebook for creating a dynamic social environment and for avoiding many of the pitfalls of other social media sites, yet they could go the way of the dodo if they alienate their own users.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.