December 04, 2012, 12:35 PM — Facebook opened the polls Monday for its latest user vote that could see Facebook users lose the ability to vote on future changes to the social network's privacy and site governance policies. The site's latest vote also concerns other changes to Facebook's data usage policies and its statement of rights and responsibilities. You can download the proposed revised documents from Facebook's site governance page.
Facebook users will be able to vote until noon Pacific/3 p.m. Eastern on December 10. The site is hosting a live online informational session Tuesday with company representatives to discuss the policy changes and answer user questions at 9:30 a.m. Pacific/12:30 p.m. Eastern on Facebook's Washington, D.C. page. Facebook is accepting questions about the proposed changes ahead of time on the same page.
For Facebook to consider the vote binding, the social network requires 30% of all of its active registered users to vote. Facebook currently claims more than one billion active users per month, meaning that at least 300 million people would have to participate in the vote for it to be binding. That high a turnout seems unlikely considering about 0.1% of all active Facebook users participated in the most recent site governance vote in June.
But it's not clear whether turnout was so low in June because of user indifference or if Facebook failed to notify users about the referendum in an effective manner. Facebook has not said whether it plans to notify users of the current vote.
At issue beyond the right to vote are new data usage policies that would allow Facebook to share user information between Facebook-owned companies such as Instagram, and some clarifying language surrounding advertising and how your Facebook Timeline works. Facebook had originally proposed changes to how it allows you to filter incoming messages from Facebook users and pages, but this proposal appears to have been removed.