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Facebook Changes Privacy Policies, Scraps User Voting

samzenpus posted about a year and a half ago | from the read-it-and-weep dept.

Facebook 119

Orome1 writes "The voting period for the proposed changes to Facebook's Statement of Rights and Responsibilities and Data Use Policy has ended on Monday, and despite the email sent out to the users asking them to review the changes and cast their vote, less than one percent of all users have done so. 'An external auditor has reviewed and confirmed the final results. Of the 668,872 people who voted, 589,141 recommended we keep our existing SRR and Data Use Policy,' stated Elliot Schrage, Facebook's vice president of communications, public policy, and marketing. Still, that is not nearly enough to prevent the proposed changes — as required by Facebook, at least 30 percent of the users should have voted against them in order to keep the previous versions of the policies. Schrage pointed out that that the whole experience illustrated the clear value of Facebook's notice and comment process."

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119 comments

haha (4, Insightful)

Trepidity (597) | about a year and a half ago | (#42268477)

Schrage pointed out that that the whole experience illustrated the clear value of Facebook's notice and comment process.

It certainly succeeded in illustrating the value that process had, yes.

Re:haha (4, Insightful)

TubeSteak (669689) | about a year and a half ago | (#42268589)

If Facebook cared about users voting, there would have been a notice every time you log on and an interstitial notice every X pages you clicked through.

Then again, there's no apathy like online apathy.

Re:haha (5, Insightful)

earlzdotnet (2788729) | about a year and a half ago | (#42268617)

This is on par with having a tiny link at the bottom of your page "opt out of you selling all the information I provide here". No one is going to see it. I remember receiving the email, but that was just yesterday or the day before. And the email didn't really include anything about voting in the subject line, so I just assume it was another privacy policy update.

If they cared at all about people voting, they would've had a longer time frame than 2 days, and they would've used Facebook, not email to get the word out that you can vote on it. Most people I know don't even remember the password, much less check, the email account associated with facebook.

Re:haha (1)

aXis100 (690904) | about a year and a half ago | (#42268701)

I didnt even see the email in my gmail account, though searching now it does show up. Quite possibly google collapsed it under another message from facebook as part of it's conversation mode, but however it happened it was easy enough to miss.

2 days voting window is bollocks.

Re:haha (2)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about a year and a half ago | (#42268995)

Two days, huh? Sometimes, I don't log in to Facebook for two weeks. Then, I seldom post anything. Two day.

Basically, Facebook didn't really want anyone's opinion, aside from it's stockholders and management.

Re:haha (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42269269)

If they cared at all about people voting, they would've had a longer time frame than 2 days, and they would've used Facebook, not email to get the word out that you can vote on it.

Bingo, baby!

Noone checks these accounts because facebook IS their main communication. They don't check the account associated with facebook, because the account was made purely so that they could provide an email to facebook when signing up - i.e. not their "real" main email account, but a throw-away one.

Second reason is because of what this communication channel is used for: spamming the user. If you send someone 300 emails over 2 years, all just to promote your services, all saying that we don't contact you requesting information, and then have one email for a SURVEY... Should facebook really expect people to read it, much less fill it out? My personal expectation of mail where I see "opinion", "survey", "poll" is that it is either advertising, or data collection without payment nor respect.

They obviously did not want to public to have a real opinion on this matter.

Re:haha (3, Insightful)

hairyfeet (841228) | about a year and a half ago | (#42270677)

Exactly, they have ruined their rep when it comes to email because they have been so spammy so myself and everybody I know automatically have anything emailed from FB go straight to spam. I mean you expect us to actually read a single email after you sent us something like 400 spam posts about any stupid Zynga game anybody we know has ever played?

The only logical thing one can deduce from this is that they simply didn't want their users openions on the matter, as all they would have done is have a click through when you logged into FB and they would have had damned near 100% participation. The fact they didn't use what would be the most obvious avenue for anybody with a functioning brain cell just shows they wanted to slip this one under the door without looking like they were saying "fuck you!" to the users. Oh and FYI that is EXACTLY what they are doing, as the votes they DID get said in giant letters "DO NOT WANT" yet they are completely ignoring those users because they didn't get 30%...which they went out of their way to make sure they wouldn't get!

Re:haha (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about a year and a half ago | (#42270583)

2 days warning for something to vote on? Sounds almost like an unpopular law being pushed through the EU parliament.

Re:haha (2)

lilrobbie (1193045) | about a year and a half ago | (#42271163)

For interest sake, I had the same issue. Here is the full text from the email. It contains no references to voting, and apart from a very generic "please give us feedback" sounds more like the changes have happened... not that *I* have the opportunity to directly affect this:

We recently announced some proposed updates to our Data Use Policy, which explains how we collect and use data when people use Facebook, and our Statement of Rights and Responsibilities (SRR), which explains the terms governing use of our services.
The updates provide you with more detailed information about our practices and reflect changes to our products, including:

        New tools for managing your Facebook Messages;
        Changes to how we refer to certain products;
        Tips on managing your timeline; and
        Reminders about what's visible to other people on Facebook.

We are also proposing changes to our site governance process for future updates to our Data Use Policy and SRR. We deeply value the feedback we receive from you during our comment period but have found that the voting mechanism created a system that incentivized quantity of comments over the quality of them. So, we are proposing to end the voting component in order to promote a more meaningful environment for feedback. We also plan to roll out new engagement channels, including a feature for submitting questions about privacy to our Chief Privacy Officer of Policy.
We encourage you to review these proposed changes and give us feedback before we finalize them. Please visit the "Documents" tab of the Facebook Site Governance Page https://www.facebook.com/fbsitegovernance [facebook.com] to learn more about these changes and to submit comments before 09 PST on 28 November 2012.
You can also follow and like the Site Governance Page for updates on this process and on any future changes to our Data Use Policy or SRR.

Re:haha (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42271325)

If they cared at all about people voting, they would've had a longer time frame than 2 days

They did, I got the email and a notice when I logged in.... weeks ago.

I remember receiving the email, but that was just yesterday or the day before. And the email didn't really include anything about voting in the subject line, so I just assume it was another privacy policy update.

So you just assumed, didn't bother to check, and that's somehow their fault? But suddenly you care enough about it to go to Slashdot and post comments, but not enough to actually vote on it when it might have mattered.

Most people I know don't even remember the password, much less check, the email account associated with facebook.

Again, whose fault is that? No, it's not FB's fault, it's the user's fault. Entirely.

If you don't give enough of a shit about their policy to actually READ what changes they are making, or flat out ignore the email entirely, and intentionally run script/popup blockers which disable some features of the sight, that's your own damn fault. Either quit using the service, use it "as is", or quit bitching about it.

Re:haha (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Psychopath (18031) | about a year and a half ago | (#42268669)

If Facebook cared about users voting, there would have been a notice every time you log on and an interstitial notice every X pages you clicked through.

Then again, there's no apathy like online apathy.

Unlike here at Slashdot where user voting on their privacy policies is so important that... hey, wait a minute...

Re:haha (3)

TubeSteak (669689) | about a year and a half ago | (#42269507)

Unlike here at Slashdot where user voting on their privacy policies is so important that... hey, wait a minute...

I'm not sure I understand your point.
Slashdot has never pretended to have any pretentions of democracy and has been corporate owned since 1999.

If /. was going to allow us to vote on anything, they'd put it in the home page poll, where every /.er sees it.
Facebook allowed their democratic initiative to die.

Re:haha (1)

jameshofo (1454841) | about a year and a half ago | (#42269707)

But what about the slashdot poll isn't it important to know how many books I read? Har

Re:haha (1)

metalmaster (1005171) | about a year and a half ago | (#42270061)

every /.er will see it, eh? I read this article because it popped up in my twitter feed. Im not sure where this poll is that you speak of and I probably wont see it. I'll close out this article and move along to the next item in my news feed

Re:haha (3, Interesting)

TWX (665546) | about a year and a half ago | (#42268735)

If they really cared, they could simply prompt two or three times, then deny functionality of key features of the site until the user has voted or until enough votes have been cast or enough time has past that the ballot is closed.

Re:haha (1)

duk242 (1412949) | about a year and a half ago | (#42268887)

Can you imagine what that would be like for IT people? "WHY CAN'T I USE FACEBOOK? IT'S NOT WORKING!! .... Oh that thing I just clicked remind me later..."

Re:haha (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42271041)

I couldn't figure out how to fucking vote! I looked at that email for a minute, clicked on a link which took me somewhere on the Facebook page and I immediately gave up when I couldn't figure out what to do. But then again, I make a post or "like" every 6 months so their info on me is mostly useless so I had no reason to bother.

Re:haha (5, Insightful)

digitallife (805599) | about a year and a half ago | (#42268883)

They probably don't care, and just didn't see a point in putting effort into bugging people. The reality is that its virtually impossible to get 30% of all Facebook users to even vote, let alone in agreement. In fact from stats I've seen, I don't even think 30% of facebook 'users' are active, let alone in the two day time frame they gave. Or put another way, if ever single user who logged into facebook during the vote had votes the same way, they'd be we'll short of the 30% requirement. The whole vote was just lip service to caring about what users think.

Re:haha (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42269143)

They probably don't care, and just didn't see a point in putting effort into bugging people. The reality is that its virtually impossible to get 30% of all Facebook users to even vote, let alone in agreement. In fact from stats I've seen, I don't even think 30% of facebook 'users' are active, let alone in the two day time frame they gave. Or put another way, if ever single user who logged into facebook during the vote had votes the same way, they'd be we'll short of the 30% requirement. The whole vote was just lip service to caring about what users think.

But any competent marketing department would get the hint when 589,141 out of 668,872 people disliked a proposed change.
You need to poll far less than 30% to get a statistically significant result representing the wishes of those 1,000,000,000 idiots.

Of course they dont care. They just arranged for a little drama to legitimize their deplorable business practices.

Re:haha (2)

joe_frisch (1366229) | about a year and a half ago | (#42269175)

They care, you are just confusing customers with products. As has been said many times, the users of facebook are the product, the advertisers are the customers. There is no reason for a company to care about what its product thinks as long as it is confident that they won't run off or cause trouble.

Re:haha (2)

kevinatilusa (620125) | about a year and a half ago | (#42269229)

But any competent marketing department would get the hint when 589,141 out of 668,872 people disliked a proposed change.
You need to poll far less than 30% to get a statistically significant result representing the wishes of those 1,000,000,000 idiots.

"Statistically Significant" doesn't really make sense here...that sort of computation assumes that the people being surveyed are a representative sample of all users.

In this case we've got a pretty strong selection bias going on where people who are most upset about the new policy are the most likely to vote.

Re:haha (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42268965)

There's no apathy like... oh, what's the point.

Re:haha (5, Informative)

SourceFrog (627014) | about a year and a half ago | (#42269449)

I tried voting on this, and Facebook's own voting system kept failing on some or other unspecified technical "error", so I wouldn't entirely blame apathy, and apathy is also engendered by not bothering to have a working technical system for voting.

Re:haha (1)

crossb0nez (1078925) | about a year and a half ago | (#42270831)

I tried voting on this, and Facebook's own voting system kept failing on some or other unspecified technical "error", so I wouldn't entirely blame apathy, and apathy is also engendered by not bothering to have a working technical system for voting.

I also got the email and attempted to vote on this - and got the same voting 'error' you describe; knowing now that I was not the only one to experience this, has me wondering whether Facebook was more interested in seeing the voting process itself fail.

Re:haha (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42271229)

I also had the exact same issue. I tried on 3 different occasions to vote about the policy for the facebook account I don't want/use, and every time it spit out an error.

I just thought facebook didn't want opinions from users like me.

Re:haha (4, Informative)

Splab (574204) | about a year and a half ago | (#42269547)

I received the information about the poll from facebook *after* it was over. The E-mail specifically told me that the vote would not change the result, but it might change how they would handle it in the future.

Re:haha (1)

Noughmad (1044096) | about a year and a half ago | (#42270261)

The problem is not that Facebook doesn't care. The problem is that users don't care. You can't fix that.

Re:haha (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about a year and a half ago | (#42270573)

There's only one word to describe how I feel about it.

Meh.

Re:haha (2)

KiloByte (825081) | about a year and a half ago | (#42270783)

As 90% of Facebook accounts are fraudulent (friend/"like" farms, etc), and most of the rest are either dupes or inactives, 1% is overwhelming response.

Of course, when Facebook is concerned there's only one valid vote, and it includes AdBlock and iptables -j REJECT.

Re:haha (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42271277)

If Facebook cared about users voting, there would have been a notice every time you log on and an interstitial notice every X pages you clicked through.

I had a notice. I dismissed it, so no I don't want it fucking popping up every X pages I click.

Then again, there's no apathy like online apathy.

As evidenced by what the users did anytime the notice popped up. Specifically, they posted angry status updates as if changes had already been made, and forwarded virus-ridden spam links to each other. Or they went on slashdot and other sites and pissed and moaned in the comments. They did everything except go to the voting page and actually fucking vote.

So ya, I agree, there's no apathy like online apathy.

Re:haha (1, Informative)

TheRecklessWanderer (929556) | about a year and a half ago | (#42268703)

I never trusted facebook, and i stopped using my account a month or two ago, and my life is better for it.

Re:haha (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42268823)

I never trusted facebook, and i stopped using my account a month or two ago, and my life is better for it.

Oh! You're a trend setter, a hipster dude! Why not get a fucking T-shirt that says "I stopped using Facebook" so you can clean up on the hipster chicks and get seriously laid? Oh, you're just so cool.

Either that, or, like, 18ish...

Re:haha (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42269461)

I have never used facebook. What does that make me? Oh yeah: an independent thinker, dangerous, anti-social terrorist... I almost forgot.

Re:haha (1)

msauve (701917) | about a year and a half ago | (#42268759)

Well, it's simple to vote again.

Just permanently delete your account, as described here [facebook.com] . I just did.

Re:haha (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42268909)

totally, because it didn't illustrate that maybe allowing individuals to vote as they log in versus at a certain time would make more sense... We offer option A or b. A is better than B by our useless one-off so X is not better than A or B. This is just legal fluff for privacy lawsuits to claim "they tried".

Re:haha (1)

wvmarle (1070040) | about a year and a half ago | (#42269163)

I do not recall having received that e-mail.

They have my e-mail address, I get notifications of comments all the time, so that's not the problem. More likely I deleted it as spam without reading. Together with all the rest of the junk pretending to be from Facebook.

Re:haha (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42269437)

This resembles the US electorial process. We offer you a vote to give you the illusion of influence, and then go ahead with what was already pre-decided.

Re:haha (1)

JasterBobaMereel (1102861) | about a year and a half ago | (#42270321)

You have marketed and sold the value of your product based on an interactive interface that can inform, update and interact with the user, then set up a voting system where you inform them of the vote by email, and the voting system is seemingly not coping with the volume of votes when less that 1% are trying ....

As an exercise in proving the voting system is broken it worked very well

589,141 recommended (4, Funny)

Osgeld (1900440) | about a year and a half ago | (#42268515)

and out of those 589,141 ...589,136 were marketing and sales agents, the other 5 were spam-bots.

Why do people put up with Facebook? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42268527)

Seems like I'm always hearing about some kind of privacy issue or change in terms or employers snooping or whatever the issue du jour is. Is it really worth it?

Re:Why do people put up with Facebook? (3, Insightful)

LordLucless (582312) | about a year and a half ago | (#42268777)

And this story, just like any other, fails to actually enumerate the changes are. Why? Because the changes, really, aren't a big deal at all.

https://www.facebook.com/notes/facebook-site-governance/explanation-of-changes/10152338051340301 [facebook.com]

The only technical thing they're changing is the voting mechanism, which, as this shows, is pretty much broken. It was ok when Facebook was maybe 1000 people at a couple of US colleges, but since it requires a quorum of 30%, it's pretty much useless now.

Everything else is basically a language change to provide clarification of existing policies, not an actual change of policies. And if you look at the comments on those posts, it's almost all people copy-and-pasting the same fake pseudo-legalese crap about ownership of data. If any of the people posting them had bothered reading the thing they were posting on, they'd see that Facebook has no intention of claiming ownership of posted content.

So, all in all, it's a storm in a teacup, magnified by people who make money from faux outrage.

Re:Why do people put up with Facebook? (1)

Obfuscant (592200) | about a year and a half ago | (#42269289)

"Below are the proposed changes to our Data Use Policy and Statement of Rights and Responsibilities (SRR) that sparked the most questions and comments ..."

So they actually fail to enumerate the changes, too, just mentioning some of them.

Re:Why do people put up with Facebook? (1)

SourceFrog (627014) | about a year and a half ago | (#42269463)

So Facebook went to great expense to have this massive vote for changing their system for no reason because things actually stay the same? Something about that doesn't add up, let me think.

Re:Why do people put up with Facebook? (1)

LordLucless (582312) | about a year and a half ago | (#42269697)

Great expense? What great expense?

The primary reason for this change was to remove the whole clunky voting mechanism that the site has long-since outgrown.

Re:Why do people put up with Facebook? (1)

mic0e (2740501) | about a year and a half ago | (#42269719)

Simple rule: If company X does policy changes, don't trust lawyers paid by company X to explain those changes to you.

Re:Why do people put up with Facebook? (1)

LordLucless (582312) | about a year and a half ago | (#42269731)

Simpler rule: Don't bitch about changes unless you've read what they are

That's it! (5, Funny)

caspy7 (117545) | about a year and a half ago | (#42268569)

That's the last straw Facebook! I've had it. I'm deleting my account!

Really.

Soon.

Maybe tomorrow actually. ...
Who am I kidding? I can't stay made at you.
(See you soon!)

Re:That's it! (1, Redundant)

godrik (1287354) | about a year and a half ago | (#42268679)

That's the last straw Facebook! I've had it. I'm deleting my account!

Oh wait! I don't have one...

Re:That's it! (1)

rtb61 (674572) | about a year and a half ago | (#42268893)

After going through the all the hassle of following the extended on-line instructions provided by everyone but Facebook and actually truly deleting a Facebook account, rejoining Facebook is one thing I will never do. People used to laugh at being probed by aliens but Facebook is probing it's members private bits everyday and they're too numb and dumb too notice.

Re:That's it! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Psychopath (18031) | about a year and a half ago | (#42268955)

That's the last straw Facebook! I've had it. I'm deleting my account!

Oh wait! I don't have one...

I don't have a TV! We should hang out.

Re:That's it! (1)

RulerOf (975607) | about a year and a half ago | (#42269133)

That's the last straw Facebook! I've had it. I'm deleting my account!

Oh wait! I don't have one...

I don't have a TV! We should hang out.

And I don't have a computer or an internet connection, so we should all get together and

Re:That's it! (1)

azalin (67640) | about a year and a half ago | (#42271405)

So... your (mom's) collective basements where flooded?

Re:That's it! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42269611)

Theres a way to delete your Facebook account?!?

Why was I not informed of this!?

desperation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42268599)

Gotta love how FB is really staring to get desperate. I mean asking my dog and cat's for their vote's, cmon.

Because the voting is meaningless! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42268619)

They do what the fuck they want anyway. (And since it’s their server, and only our fuckin' social pressure pushing us into it, they also have the right to do whatever the fuck they want. [Unless they are harming somebody who didn't agree to accepting that.])

I'm only there because of the girls anyway. (Good luck getting a phone number nowadays. Or them having the brains to have an IM/IRC account.)

Nearly everyone (well, more than 99%, as we see here) would ditch Facebook in a heartbeat. And they know it.

More powerful vote to just stop using Facebook (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42268631)

The 30% of users voting against requirement is stupid for the following reasons:
- It seems to be based on 30% of *ALL* accounts (including fake ones that are rare ever used) instead of 30% of accounts that are active
- If Facebook is willing to purpose anti-privacy friendly policies on the basis of it being an "industry standard" then even if it gets turned down this time, what is to stop them from just purposing more anti-privacy friendly policies next time? Or what is to stop them from purposing the same bad policies over and over again until they make it through?

Really, if a company is willing to act this way then the on reasonable reaction is to just quit using Facebook.

30%??? (4, Insightful)

Dan East (318230) | about a year and a half ago | (#42268651)

Are 30% of FB users even active? How about the number of people with more than one account? What about people like my grandfather who only gets on FB to view updates and pictures from the dozen family that comprise his entire friend list?

I assert that it is not even possible to get a response from 30% of FB users, especially with a passive voting process like this that requires the user to actively seek out and find where to vote. Maybe, just maybe, if FB would have put it right in front of the user's faces, where it was a popup message that has to be dismissed, then maybe up to 15-20% would participate.

This proves the shocking truth. (3, Insightful)

Andy Prough (2730467) | about a year and a half ago | (#42268753)

589,141 adult nerds are actively using Facebook

Oh, and 99% (at least) of 14-year-old girls and spam bots don't care about Facebook's privacy policies.

Re:30%??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42268809)

I checked on that this morning. Of FB's one billion accounts, roughly half are "active" (i.e. logged into monthly...which does no good or a two day voting window). Use goes up exponentially from there, as about 390,000,000 users are on FB six days out of seven. It goes to show that the percentages they needed to make the vote "non-advisory" (30% of all accounts, 300 million) was essentially 100% of heavy users. Good luck with that.

Re:30%??? (1)

wvmarle (1070040) | about a year and a half ago | (#42269223)

Part of the problem is that we equate accounts to users.

That is simply wrong. Someone who has not logged in for a long time, say half a year, should not be considered a user.

Many people have two or more accounts, counting a single user multiple times. Hard to filter out those.

Then there are people that died. The longer a site exists, the more that is an issue. For sites like Facebook it is a real issue as the numbers are so huge, though the overall percentage of accounts of dead people should be low.

Also sometimes people forget their password, and simply register a new account, abandoning the old one.

So it is really hard to get to the actual number of Facebook users. So that 1% that voted, may very well be 30% of the actual number of active users. Or maybe just 1.5%. We don't know, because for Facebook, every account counts as a user, and they wouldn't want it any different.

Re:30%??? (1)

PingXao (153057) | about a year and a half ago | (#42270039)

I'll put your grandfather's dozen friends up against anyone else's thousands when the chips are down.

Assumed it was spam... (2)

jezwel (2451108) | about a year and a half ago | (#42268685)

I assumed this was some form of spam/scam so did not participate. If it doesn't slam me in the face everytime I login I'll ignore it - my personal filters obviously work a little too well...

Active Members -- Your feedback is not apprecaited (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42268727)

The only thing that they proved is that those who are active in the community rejected the idea. Those are the people who they should listen to. Those mass of people who did not vote should not be voiceless as "under 30% of users" never check their email or know what they are being presented with. Not every user will vote, but, we should recognize that those who do likely are the ones who should represent the mass.

most people were not against (1)

rroman (2627559) | about a year and a half ago | (#42268743)

I have done a little research and posted information about the policy and the vote on my wall. As far as I know, almost nobody gave a f*ck about it. People just don't care about the policy of facebook as long as they can upload photos and post statuses.

email. what email? (2)

gr8_phk (621180) | about a year and a half ago | (#42268747)

despite the email sent out to the users asking them to review the changes and cast their vote, less than one percent of all users have done so.

If they sent that to the me @facebook.com, I'm not aware of how to read that - I don't consider it a valid email address. I don't recall ever seeing this alleged email. I suppose if it came to my correct address it would have been deleted like all the other crap they send me.

Re:email. what email? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42270663)

Yeah, I would also like to know what damn e-mail this was too.
I send all that crap in to a folder and check it every so often, not a single e-mail in relation to this.

Good Grief. (2)

Frosty Piss (770223) | about a year and a half ago | (#42268765)

Folks, Facebook is a *BUSINESS*, and you are not the customer. What makes you think you *should* be able to vote on Facebook policies unless you are a stock holder?

You know, the Facebook Bitching is getting quite pathetic, from the tone of most of it, one might think people were actually being forced to be on Facebook.

But of course, that's not the case. In fact, it's like fast food: You don't like Big Macs? Don't eat at McDonald's for Christ's sake...

Seriously, I don't listen to Justin Bieber, either. You know why? I don't like Bieber's "music", and as yet there is nothing actually compelling me to listen to Mr. Bieber.

So all you Ant-Facebook folks, two points: 1.) Don't use Facebook. 2.) Stop bitching about Facebook, and get a life.

Seriously.

Re:Good Grief. (1)

multiben (1916126) | about a year and a half ago | (#42268845)

I basically agree with you, but over the last few years I have found myself in an irritating situation. Most of my stupid friends are now FB devotees, and I find that unless I have some FB presence I'm dropping off the social scene :(. What used to be organised by phone or email is almost always done on FB now. So, I've decided to use it at arm's length and hope it goes away some day.

It's a business, BUT ... (1)

King_TJ (85913) | about a year and a half ago | (#42268967)

Facebook is DEFINITELY a two way street.

If users didn't contribute a bunch of status updates, photo collections and spend time commenting on what other users posted, the company would quickly fail.

In that sense, it's really pretty much nothing like fast food. McDonalds doesn't rely on people walking in its door contributing food and drinks so others will come in and exchange them for other food and drinks of their own (while profiting from the sale of advertising targeted at all the people walking in).

And while clearly, none of us are FORCED to use Facebook -- people tend to bitch and complain about the things they actually CARE about and USE, in the hopes it will result in product improvements. It would be a sure sign Facebook was dying out if you stopped hearing any complaints about it.

The truth is, the times are changing and social networking has become a central part of many people's daily lives. Earlier today, I was reading a financial blog where they commented that in 2012, only about 27% of all new cars sold were purchased by people under age 30. There's a growing trend for today's "20 somethings" not to buy a car or even get a driver's license, in the U.S., while conversely, that group is spending an ever increasing amount on computers and related technology.

I'm sure there are plenty of reasons for these changes, but the ability to work from home (or really, anywhere you can get a net connection) is one of them. Without a traditional workplace to go to each day, a lot of socialization is lost -- and social networking sites like Facebook help bridge that gap for people.

You can argue all day long about whether or not this is a "bad thing" -- but it's happening, regardless.

Re:It's a business, BUT ... (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | about a year and a half ago | (#42269299)

Facebook is DEFINITELY a two way street.

I beg to differ.

You have bought into the idea that Facebook is YOUR "community", and yet it is nothing of the sort. You have bought into the same bullshit that made people use to think that The Mall was somehow their "community".

The truth is, the times are changing and social networking has become a central part of many people's daily lives.

This changes nothing, and indeed simply goes to show your total misunderstanding of what Facebook (and other "social networks") are.

If you think you have any "rights" to make decisions over what Facebook does or does not do, you simply and totally misunderstand what Facebook actually is.

If you are so into Facebook that it is your "community", than you truly lead a pathetic life and should probably go back to "zero" and start writing letters and post-cards again (or for the first time). Perhaps you have never actually used a "stamp"...

I have a Facebook account, and I use it quite a bit, but I know what Facebook is and what it is not.

Facebook is a business, its sole purpose is to make moolah for its owners. You are most likely not one of its owners, and therefore you have no rights whatsoever to dictate anything to Facebook, you are certainly not their "customer".

Re:It's a business, BUT ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42269577)

McDonald's isn't putting Like or Recommend buttons all over the web the way Facebook does.

Re:Good Grief. (4, Insightful)

sir-gold (949031) | about a year and a half ago | (#42269215)

If the service is free, the product is YOU

Re:Good Grief. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42269433)

If the service is free, the product is YOU

Does that means that in Soviet Russia if the product is free, the service is YOU?

Re:Good Grief. (2)

Jarmihi (2589777) | about a year and a half ago | (#42269393)

Then I posit this:

Facebook has a sort of "social monopoly." (I'm not talking about money.) Many people use it, and for them, it's the only way to stay in touch with certain people. There is just no other place to go that is so widely used and so accessible. So I ask you:

Where do you send the people who are tired of Facebook? Google+? It's not used enough. Only 10 of my acquaintances use Google+ while all of my acquaintances, friends, best friends, family, and love interests are on Facebook.

We're in an era where sending letters, paper or electronic, just isn't as efficient as social media. We're in an era where phone conversations require a purpose to be socially acceptable. People choose giving others read permission to their facebook timelines over more sensitive data like a phone number or house address for a variety of reasons. (Also why the debit card is making checks obsolete: cards don't carry your house address or account number like checks do. Which would you rather give someone?)

So tell me, what would you have them do? Demand real customer service or be cut off from their social life? Do you have a solution to the social media monopoly or are you just going to sit here and insult those who complain that companies don't do what they say they will? ("Stop bitching about Facebook, and get a life." ~OP)

Re:Good Grief. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42269509)

Pick up the phone for something other than status updates? Maybe call someone and ACTUALLY socialize. Sit down, have a few beers with friends... And me, the anti-social terrorist for not using faceplant.

Re:Good Grief. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42269559)

Get Facebook's presence off of all pages except Facebook then, including all Like and Recommend buttons.

Re:Good Grief. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42269665)

> you are not the customer....
> You don't like Big Macs? Don't eat at McDonald's for Christ's sake...

You realize you're preaching to the cows that are sold in the burgers, right?

Fake & Spam Accounts (2)

ElementOfDestruction (2024308) | about a year and a half ago | (#42268821)

There are an increasingly large number of reasons for Facebook Inc to NOT actively remove fake, fraudulent, and duplicate accounts. This is yet another one.

Email sent to users? What email? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42268853)

Just checked. That email landed up in the spam folders.

WHEN YOU LET FB SHOVE A BROOM UP YOUR ARSE . . . (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42268949)

You have given up all dignity already !! Or, maybe you just like it that way !! In either case, you have gotten what you deserve !! Enjoy !!

Re:WHEN YOU LET FB SHOVE A BROOM UP YOUR ARSE . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42269417)

But facebook said there were to be no splinters. There are splinters. There are lots of splinters. My bum is bleeding, and I can't do anything about it. Now facebook says it wants to use base-ball bats. I can only hope these are aluminium bats. God, save our souls!

Buffoons at the Gate (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42269019)

"Schrage pointed out that that the whole experience illustrated the clear value of Facebook's notice and comment process."

Nothing supports this 'conclusion' !

WAR

Facebook users never had rights anyway (1)

abelb (1365345) | about a year and a half ago | (#42269023)

Facebook stole social networking from the Internet .The concept is locked up on private servers held by a private company. He who giveth can also taketh away.

Surveys are likely blocked by people like us (1)

mjensen (118105) | about a year and a half ago | (#42269053)

If I were Facebook, I'd put the surveys on an a server like advertising.facebook.com. That way they wouldn't put surveys to the people using advertising blocking proxies.

Don't survey the people that would likely give results you don't want. Then you can change the wording so Mom and Pop generate the answer you'd like.

dodgy site (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42269101)

I tried to vote, however the link they had to the new policy was broken and the site was incredibly convoluted. The whole thing appeared to be designed to ensure people would not vote.

It's a large enough sample size. (1)

Lordpidey (942444) | about a year and a half ago | (#42269243)

If the person incharge knew ANYTHING about statistics, a sample of over 600,000 votes is MORE than enough for an error rate of 0.1% And the difference between the two choices was far more than the error rate, there is no need for further sampling.

Re:It's a large enough sample size. (3, Insightful)

dala1 (1842368) | about a year and a half ago | (#42269615)

This wasn't a random sample.

1 Bot 1 Vote! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42269277)

Does nobody else find it disturbing that Facebook gave the same voting power to Facebook bots as it did to real users?

Sure, the bots didn't vote *TODAY*, but what if they start voting?

I tried to vote (2)

Bieeanda (961632) | about a year and a half ago | (#42269367)

...but the site consistently threw an error when I tried to vote 'no, fuck off' to the changes. I'm not going to say it was coded to do that (because come on) but I thought it was a funny sign.

Re:I tried to vote (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42269543)

No different than the vanishing capcha bug when trying to delete a Facebook account. The site is designed to throw bugs or errors during a user floe that would allow the user to take charge if their data in a definitive manner.

About Facebook's "Quorum" (1)

Jarmihi (2589777) | about a year and a half ago | (#42269415)

I've never heard of any successful political system requiring more than 10-15% of its membership for quorum. (Even then, most of them are even less than that.) How do they justify 300,000,000+ accounts being the bare minimum response?

Move to Ireland and be forgotten... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42269535)

When I get tired of FB and all the associated BS that comes with it, I shall 'move' to Ireland and delete my FB account. Since I believe Ireland has the 'right to be forgotten' thing going still... Lest FB make the EU gods mad at them. And who is FB to tell me that I didn't move to to an EU country just because my IP address showed a stateside address. Maybe I set up a proxy on an old computer.

I received an email from Facebook... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42269581)

... at 6:00AM this morning letting me know that the voting period would be ending at 12:00PM PST (or 2:00PM local). Nice of Facebook to assume that I get up at the crack of dawn to check my email and act on it before I'm off to work. What a bunch of putzes. Between this crap and their turning my News Feed page into a series of advertisements (no, not the ones on the right-hand side of the FB pages) for junk that none of my posts could ever lead FB to conclude I'd be remotely be interested in, "Get Yer Background Checks Here!", come-ons for me to add more contacts to be stored on their servers (where my data will undoubtedly be used to nag my contacts/friends/etc.), I'm one step away from making a final post informing my FB friends of the URL where I'll be posting from hereon.

30 percent required? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42270005)

wtf?

the REAL number of REAL users that REALLY use the site is MUCH less than 30% of their CLAIMED user base. there's no fucking way they would ever tally that many votes.. so facebook would never have to honor the vote and could do whatever they want anyway. of course, they'd never actually listen to their users when what they want might potentially cost the site money anyway.

30 percent (1)

l3v1 (787564) | about a year and a half ago | (#42270105)

"as required by Facebook, at least 30 percent of the users should have voted against them in order to keep the previous versions of the policies"

Well, they did. The rest are dogs, cats, frogs, imaginary animals, and the neighbor's boots.

Re:30 percent (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about a year and a half ago | (#42270603)

Plus the various astroturf accounts that you can hire as your friends if you're a politician and try to appear popular despite nobody giving half a shit about you.

An alternative subject line (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about a year and a half ago | (#42270591)

Less than 1% of FB users was dumb enough to hand them an email address they actually care about.

Just as I thought... (1)

Patchw0rk F0g (663145) | about a year and a half ago | (#42271101)

The ignorance of the masses speaketh again.

What email? (1)

Segisaurus (1526837) | about a year and a half ago | (#42271443)

What email? I didn't know I had an option to vote till reading this today. Did I need to "Friend" Zuckerburg to get these notices? Maybe no one voted cause no one knew it was an option. “But the plans were on display ” “On display? I eventually had to go down to the cellar to find them.” “That’s the display department.” “With a flashlight.” “Ah, well, the lights had probably gone.” “So had the stairs.” “But look, you found the notice, didn’t you?” “Yes,” said Arthur, “yes I did. It was on display in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying ‘Beware of the Leopard.” Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
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