Friday, April 24, 2009

Facebook users say yes to changes

Facebook users have voted to back changes which give them control over data and content they post on the site.

Early results suggest 75% of those who voted support the proposals.

The vote was triggered by changes Facebook made to its terms and conditions in February.

The move drew fire because it appeared to hand the social network site ownership of images, videos and data that users posted on profile pages.

Low turnout

In response to the criticism, Facebook withdrew the changed terms, wrote a new set and invited its 200 million members to make their views known.

The new terms return control of what is done with data put on the site to users and give them the right to ask for it to be deleted if they stop using Facebook.

In total about 600,000 people took part in the week-long vote. Initially, Facebook said it would only adopt those new terms if 30% of its members voted in support of them.

However, writing in a blog posting on Facebook announcing the early results, Ted Ullyot, Facebook's legal chief, said it would adopt them anyway.

"You can expect to see the new documents on the site in the coming weeks," wrote Mr Ullyot.

He said a preliminary count suggested 74.4% backed the new Facebook Principles and Statement of Rights and Responsibilities.

The results are now being assessed by an external auditor to produce a final count.

Mr Ullyot expressed disappointment that there was not a bigger turnout but acknowledged that the exercise was a first for both Facebook and its members.

Future votes on changes to how the site operates, which are enshrined in the new terms, will have a threshold of less than 30% for any alterations to be made binding.

"We are hopeful that there will be greater participation in future votes," he wrote.
-- Courtesy: BBC

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