Facebook Wants to Eliminate Users' Ability to Vote on Policy Changes

Facebook (Nasdaq: FB  ) today announced plans to tweak the way things are done on the nation's most popular social networking site, including proposing getting rid of the system that allows users to vote on some policy changes.

Facebook announced two things. First, it's adding new tools for managing Facebook Messages, changing terminology for how it describes some services, and clarifying how certain actions a Facebook user takes may not achieve the results they intend. For example, "hiding" items from a user's Timeline does not in fact delete the items, which may still be visible on other areas of Facebook (e.g. in other users' newsfeeds).

In the other major change, Facebook intends to end the policy of permitting users to vote on proposed changes to things like the company's privacy policy. As Facebook explains it, the policy of permitting users to vote on how the site is run was "unprecedented" in 2009. Three years later, with more than 1 billion users in the Facebook electorate, it's also become a bit unwieldy and encourages quantity of comments over quality, it said. Facebook also noted in its press release that it is now "publicly traded and accountable to regulators around the world."

The company says it will continue to allow users to comment on proposed changes, and "deeply values" their feedback on its actions.

Facebook is also instituting a new feature on its Facebook and Privacy Page, whereby users can pose questions to Chief Privacy Officer of Policy Erin Egan, and also participate in regular webcasts wherein Egan discusses frequently asked questions about Facebook's privacy, safety, and security policies.

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