Millions of Facebook users snub governance vote

Only 600,000 out of 200 million active members of the social networking site take part

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By  Vineetha Menon Published  April 27, 2009

Only 665,654 people out of 200 million active users took part in Facebook’s recent governance vote that determined new rules of service for the social networking site.

Earlier this year, the company faced a backlash from users angry about changes to its terms of service (TOS) that stated Facebook, not the users, owned content from deactivated accounts.

While that decision was quickly reverted, it led to CEO Mark Zuckerberg introducing a democratic means of deciding how the site is governed by allowing members to vote in favour or against governing initiatives.

When voting began on April 16th, Zuckerberg said that the initiatives would be binding if at least 30% of active Facebook users participated, which translated to about 60 million users. However, only about 640,000 people or 0.003%, active users cast their vote.

“The more than 600,000 users who voted constitute a significant number of people, but at the same time that's a small number compared to our user base of more than 200 million…. 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,” Zuckerberg wrote in a company blog post.

Final results are now being reviewed by an outside auditor, but preliminary numbers indicate that around 74% of voters chose the proposed documents – the new Facebook Principles and Statement of Rights and Responsibilities – over the existing Terms of Use.

Despite a shamefully low number of votes cast, Facebook has decided to adopt the new governing initiatives once the results are confirmed.

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