For the last few years, Facebook had a slightly odd nod toward corporate democracy. If a change to the agreements it made with its users sparked thousands of comments — indicating users were upset by the change — it would trigger a voting mechanism by which users could reject the change. The site, whose value is created by the personal information eagerly handed over by its hundreds of millions of users, wanted to maintain a sense that those users were in control of how that information was being used by Facebook. In order for the vote to be binding though, 30% of the site’s over one billion users had to participate.
The vote has been triggered three times now. Each time, the turn-out was worse than what you’d get at a state fair in the middle of a hurricane. While Facebook has previously lamented voter apathy, it did little to force users to vote. It sent out an email last week, and included a “share” button on the voting site so that people could tell their friends about it, but did not otherwise force it upon users when they signed onto the site. Facebookers were more likely to see that fake copyright notice than to encounter information about voting. “Ironically, as nonsensical as it is, that fake status update went viral because it was less confusing than Facebook’s actual site governance process,” writes Will Oremus at Slate.
Read the complete article at Forbes.