Facebook Has Dropped This Whole ‘Democracy’ Sham

Facebook held a vote on its privacy policy recently, and among the changes was “users no longer get a vote on changes to our privacy policy.” Of Facebook’s billion users, 668,872 showed up, so you no longer get to vote on what Facebook does with your data.

You know, because your vote totally mattered in the past.

Four years ago, Facebook instituted a policy where, if a privacy policy change they wanted to make got more than 7,000 comments, they pushed it out to a vote. All privacy advocate had to do was get 30% of users to vote, and it was binding!

In other words, the deck was blatantly loaded to allow Facebook to do what it wanted while pretending to listen to the voice of the people. Facebook didn’t make voting hard; it didn’t have to. It gambled that nobody gave a crap about website governance and shockingly, no one did.

To be fair, part of the reason Facebook dropped the whole “voting” thing is the fact that, as the vote on whether or not people cared demonstrated, Facebook “democracy” was not exactly popular:

Between the three votes, Facebook Nation has a paltry average turnout of 0.145 percent. Most of that weight comes from the inaugural vote that instituted the voting policy and was heavily publicized by Facebook itself (the second vote had the worst turnout, at 0.038 percent).

Either way, we’re kind of glad Facebook is being more up front about its unilateral moves. This whole “trying to pretend we’re not evil” thing was kinda getting old.