Facebook Ends Democracy Today

Facebook Ends Democracy Today

Facebook has long been a democracy and let users vote and decide on change within Facebook, now they want to take that away. Last month, right before Thanksgiving, Facebook announced that it wanted to take away from voters to be able to vote on change. There was a huge outcry from the dedicated Facebook audience and Facebook decided to give them a chance to appeal if they were enough people.

If more than 7,000 users comment on the proposed change, then Facebook will hold a user vote on the change. If more than 30% of its active users vote (more than 300 million people, at last count), then Facebook will bind itself to the majority rule. (By way of comparison, approximately 120 million Americans voted in the presidential election of 2012.) If there is insufficient turnout, Facebook does what it wishes.

Quickly, users passed the 7,000 users comment mark on the proposed changes and the governance decided to hold a vote to see if it would be denied. With their only rule being that 300 million people need to vote and a majority against, this was a long stretch. Getting 300 million people to vote on Facebook isn’t easy, last checking only a 120 million people voted for president in the United States and that means that one-third of the votes against would have to come from out of the states.

At the writing of this blog post we were not able to get 300 million votes and only came up around 600,000. This means that Facebook will not ask for any voting on future items and leave sole decision up to the company itself. Even if the voting was over whelming against the changes, there simply wasn’t enough votes.

In a way this is good for the company, giving them exclusive control on what they want to do with their website. Most sites these days are a dictatorship, making decisions as they please and doing what they want, Facebook just gave its users a chance to help govern the site and now they want control back.

Overall, this really makes no impact on the user, just how people have a perceived value of voting on issues for Facebook.