back to article Facebook invites users to vote away voting rights, some privacy

Voting has officially opened for users of Facebook to decide if they agree with the proposed changes Zuckerberg and his crew want to make to the site's terms and conditions. On November 21, the company announced that it wanted to change its rules to get rid of the system of user voting and instead have a complaints page, which …


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  1. Notas Badoff

    Phantom voters are phantom users

    "Over the next week, over 30 per cent of Facebook's billion users must place their ballots ... Given that quorum in a vote has yet to be achieved by Facebook's diverse global user base, ..."

    Given that a quorum in a vote has yet to be achieved, it seems certain that the count of actual continuing users is vastly inflated. If they can't get a quorum - ever - it has to be a black eye for Facebook and a tacit admission their counts are BS.

    Does anyone know of any other site that doesn't qualify quorum size by the number of accounts that have logged in 'recently', such as most recent 6 months? Amazing that FB is using their phantom users as a "silent majority".

    1. LarsG

      No more people power

      Facebook will now be ruled by King Zuck who will then only address issues he wants to address ignoring all others.

      All Hail the Great Leader!

      A new ruling elite a new dawn in being ruled.

      1. Usually Right or Wrong

        Re: No more people power

        There is a very good essay just posted on Bruce Schneier's blog about feudal overlords and vassals. Serfs pledge their allegiance to their Lord Google, Lord Apple, Lord Facebook, etc. and become their vassals in return for their data being available online, some protection of their data and maybe data backups.

        The essay points out the imbalance of the arrangement in that your data becomes tied to a Lord, can be deleted on a whim (Amazon), not deleted when you delete it, given to anyone that will pay the Lord money, and if you leave, the Lord still owns your data to do with as they wish.

        I suppose there is always a sector of society that feels a need to live in serfdom and actively seeks it out.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: No more people power

          >I suppose there is always a sector of society that feels a need to live in serfdom and actively seeks it out.<

          Unfortunately that sector has become the fucking majority

        2. Lallabalalla

          Re: No more people power

          Well, unless you want to have a presence on just your own facebook (total members=1), use only the phone you built yourself which backs up to your own cloud server that you maintain, perform web searches by guessing urls until you get lucky, post comments on your own forum which just has you as a member and only buy stuff from the high street, then it's the only game in town.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      As with

      As with all great dictatorships, the outcome of the vote has already be predetermined.

    3. Ole Juul

      Re: Phantom voters are phantom users

      Amazing that FB is using their phantom users as a "silent majority".

      That's actually really funny. What's not so funny is that it also suggests that Facebook still thinks we're "dumb fucks" and can't figure this out.

      1. deadlockvictim Silver badge

        Re: Phantom voters are phantom users

        Unfortunately, we are.

        Who was it that said that you won't become poor by underestimating the stupidity of the masses?

    4. Greg J Preece

      Re: Phantom voters are phantom users

      In fairness, the dude is just taking cues from the governments around him. How many petitions on the official UK or US government websites have actually been acted on?

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Phantom voters are phantom users

      "Over the next week, over 30 per cent of Facebook's billion users must place their ballots"

      And where does the mystical voting booth exist? Its not the easiest thing to find, even if you know it exists.

      I'm thinking the old 'bottom of a locked filing cabinet, situated in a disused toilet with the sign 'beware of the leopard' on the door.

      AC - because its probably somewhere obvious.

  2. Winkypop Silver badge

    Let the (new) ownage begin

    Personally, I wouldn't touch FB with a borrowed barge pole.

    But what were users expecting when they placed personal data on a commercialised social network site?

    Democracy? Privacy? Respect?

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    can't express an opinion if you don't know about the issue

    went to Facebook and logged in. No sign of this momentous issue flagged up for my attention. No wonder voting is low on these matters.

    1. Tony Paulazzo

      Re: can't express an opinion if you don't know about the issue

      I just posted this on my wall, ensured it's public:

      Voting starts today (copied from Facebooks voting page - I just found out about it today), on the proposed updates to our Data Use Policy and Statement of Rights and Responsibilities and will end on December 10 at 12:00 PM PST. You can learn more about our proposed updates and how to vote by visiting the "Documents" tab of the Facebook Site Governance Page

      If something stupid like less than 30% of Facebooks user base do not vote then Facebook will implement these changes anyway. Since they now record over a billion users (tho' how many have two or more accounts - I personally know three people), we all need to vote.

      From The Register:

      On November 21, the company announced that it wanted to change its rules to get rid of the system of user voting and instead have a complaints page, which would then be selectively addressed by Facebook's chief privacy officer Erin Egan in a regular webcast.

      Facebook also proposed changes to the site's policies on data sharing, enabling a larger selection of information to be shared so that advertisers can be sold more info, content can be more accurately personalized for the end user, and affiliates like Instagram can interlink better with user profiles.

  4. vulcan

    What a joke this voting is.

    If there hadn't been links in this article I doubt I would have found the place to vote. Once at the correct place voting still didn't work in Opera or Chrome, I could only get it to work in Firefox.

  5. This post has been deleted by its author

  6. Chris G Silver badge


    Personally I have never understood the fascination with Farcebook I have looked on it maybe a couple of dozen times as I have an account to occasionally communicate with my daughter in the UK.

    The inane style of Farcebook and the fact that morons on there want to share with the world that they 'have just been for a huge dump' (I actually read that on somebody's wall!) is enough for me to not give a damn what they do.

    Just don't use Farcebook , the same people who use it almost certainly have emails use them instead. Sooner or later once social networking has impermeated every facet of life ( if it hasn't already) and then been taken over by intrusive overwhelming commerce ( if it hasn't already) it will begin to lose it's hold on people and fade away like the fad it is.

    Personally I can't even stand the phrase 'social networking' it offends my sociopathic nature.

    1. Robert Grant

      Re: Farcebook

      That last sentence possibly explains all the others.

      Facebook != email; its functionality is more like IM + email + blogging + commenting + twitter-style broadcasting + probably other stuff. Like user authentication.

      With downsides a-plenty, of course, but email wouldn't come close to replacing it.

    2. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

      Re: Farcebook

      Personally I can't even stand the phrase 'social networking' it offends my sociopathic nature

      You should spell it correctly. It's " A-social", but the "A" is silent.

  7. Simon Barnes


    I tracked down the voting page: but once I'd voted it went to "loading" and never completed or notified my friends as I'd asked, though it won't let me try again...

    it did say that of those few who had voted (~50000) it was about 10:1 against the changes

    1. Bodestone

      Re: broken

      Looking for where to actually vote reminded me of Hitchhiker's.

      "But Mr Dent, the plans have been available in the local planning office for the last nine months."

      "Oh yes, well as soon as I heard I went straight round to see them, yesterday afternoon. You hadn't exactly gone out of your way to call attention to them, had you? I mean, like actually telling anybody or anything."

      "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'."

    2. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart

      Re: broken

      it did say that of those few who had voted (~50000) it was about 10:1 against the changes

      That sounds about right, farcebook has 3,976 employees as of June 2012.

  8. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

    You have to admire the vote engineering..

    (side remark) As I said in another post it's an A-social network, but the "A" is silent.

    I must admit to some grudging admiration for Zuck here for his (a)social engineering. He knows full well he has a vast amount of dark accounts on the service, so he uses that.

    Otherwise he would have asked for 1/3 of accounts to AGREE to the change, not DISagree. After all, there is an established contract, so it's changes that have to be agreed to, not the status quo.

    1. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart

      Re: You have to admire the vote engineering..

      That's why I used all 3 of my farcebook account to vote against .

  9. chiller

    Off topic - kind of

    I would still like to punch MZ's punchable face

  10. ForthIsNotDead

    Take your Faceslap

    and shove it where the sun don't shine. Bitch.

    So glad I don't have a Faceslap account.

    My wife recently had a major shock. I'd warned her about it (Faceslap) but she still used it to "keep up" (I call it "compete") with her friends.

    Well, her and her friends all went out on a girlies night out. A good time was had by all. She logged into Faceslap the next day, and was horrified to see a map on her home page that showed all the clubs/restaurants she had visited the previous evening (listed by name, and a position on the map). My first thought was the Faceslap client on her 'phone had logged it, using GPS tracking, but no, because she has never signed into Faceslap using her 'phone.

    It turns out that her friends had been happily snapping pics on their phones and immediately uploading them to their Faceslap pages. Faceslap new their locations by tracking their phones locations. She was "tagged" by one of her friends, so Faceslap knows what my wife looks like. It was intelligent enough to deduce that if she was in the same photo as her friend, then she too is clearly in the same location as her friend, so it updated her "recent locations" profile or whatever the hell it's called.

    It totally freaked her out.

    It's the ultimate tracking/spy tool. It really is Minority Report style evil.

    No thanks.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    how do you vote ?

  12. Itsevilbert

    Would be good if the article actually gave the link to the voting system in facebook:

    1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      Sometimes this simple things slip through the net. I've added the link - ta.


    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      thanks :)

      You cant vote until you have clicked on their links and you cant open them your way

      What a joke

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Since Facebook was floated on teh markets, it's now a game of how much money they can make from their userbase so they can release the figures that the smart money wants to see.

    The homeymoon is over, prepare to be harvested facebooktards.

  14. Tim Bergel

    Current votes

    are about 90% in favour of keeping the old rules but as there are about 60K total votes cast the quorum of 300 million looks pretty out-of-reach.

  15. h3

    re: robert grant.

    Usenet + IRC + email + maling lists - would (Is for me) be good enough to replace it.

    Someone needs to script creating all those accounts. (Just to prove to people that they will ignore it regardless).

  16. LeeHolland

    I tried to vote - an error occurred. That's how they'll stay below the required amount of votes.

  17. pigor

    Facebook is making sure this vote will have only one outcome.

    The little advertisement about it coupled with minimal supports for browsers is a good indication of Facebook intentions.

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