The hardtracking staff noted yesterday that Facebook has alerted its Faceherd to several changes in its Data Use Policy, including:

New tools for managing your Facebook Messages

Changes to how we refer to certain products

Tips on managing your Timeline

Reminders about what’s visible to other people on Facebook

Sorry to say, we also buried the lede. Which is this (via the Associated Press):

Facebook proposes to end voting on privacy issues

NEW YORK (AP) — Facebook is proposing to end its practice of letting users vote on changes to its privacy policies, though it will continue to let users comment on proposed updates.

The world’s biggest social media company said in a blog post Wednesday that its voting mechanism, which is triggered only if enough people comment on proposed changes, has become a system that emphasizes quantity of responses over quality of discussion. Users tend to leave one or two-word comments objecting to changes instead of more in-depth responses.

Facebook said it will continue to inform users of “significant changes” to its privacy policy, called its data use policy, and to its statement of user rights and responsibilities. The company will keep its seven-day comment period and take users’ feedback into consideration.

Which means . . . exactly nothing.

Facebook has allowed users to vote on privacy issues for the past three years, but now its stock is publicly traded so all bets – except the Wall Street ones – are off.

Good news for Facebook.

Bad news for the Faceherd.


John R. Carroll is media analyst for NPR's Here & Now and senior news analyst for WBUR in Boston. He also writes at Campaign Outsider and It's Good to Live in a Two-Daily Town.
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