Facebook’s first-ever user vote on proposed changes to the site’s Terms of Service has just concluded, and the results are in: the new documents have won out over the old documents by a 74% – 26% margin.
More than 650,000 people voted during the last week – far short of the 60 million votes Facebook said would be required to make the vote’s results “binding.” Nevertheless, Facebook is likely to adopt the new governing documents, since it has invested so much time, energy, and PR effort in its process of revising them with input from privacy advocates and concerned users.
Although Facebook promoted the TOS vote on every user’s home page, less than 1% of users who saw the notice participated. It just goes to show that while a few users clearly got upset over TOS issues, most just don’t care enough (or aren’t familiar enough with the issues to care, privacy advocates would say) for now.
Given the number of people who are growing up on Facebook – as well as the influx of users over 35 onto Facebook, especially in recent months – we expect there to be continued concerns about online rights and online privacy on Facebook in the years ahead, particularly as those concerns relate to the ways Facebook allows users to control access to personal information. The number of ways that personal information being shared by people on Facebook could theoretically be misused at some point are endless.
However, Facebook has done an unprecedented job at building and establishing trust with its users, who continue to share more and more information on the site in droves. As long as Facebook continues to prove itself a good steward of that trust and data, users will be happy with the service and increasingly trust it with more of their personal information.