The Failure of the Facebook Vote

Recently Facebook outraged its users by changing its terms of service to say that the company owned all the content on its network. Users freaked out; you joined them in the chants of unfairness. Now Facebook is calling your bluff.

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After the uprising, Facebook said it would determine its new terms of service democratically, with a vote. Of course, the site’s administration set up a quorum: 30% of users would have to vote, or Facebook would just go back to doing what it wants. That’s about 60 million users. As of this writing, only 370,000 people have voted–and the polling closes Thursday at midday. You can vote here.

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Immediately after the ToS debacle, I wrote a column in which I described the headache that Facebook was in for, should it make good on its democratic rhetoric: electioneering, vote-buying, croneyism, and the like. Looks like Zuckerberg & Co. hedged their bets correctly. Once the vote fails, they can go back to their original oligarchy, and there’s not much the users can say about it.

So, vote if you care to send a message to Facebook’s brass that you’re on to their chicanery. Sadly, that’s about all your vote will do.

Related: Facebook: Stop Acting Like a Nation-State
Related: Triumph of the Design Haters: After Facebook and Tropicana, Whose Redesign Is Next to Go?CD