Facebook Doesn’t Rock Its Vote: Less Than 0.3% Turn Out to Pass New Terms of Service, Possible Ban of Iran 2


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After serving as a springboard to rally a groundswell of voters for President Obama’s campaign, Facebook failed to deliver much of a turnout to the social network’s governance vote.

Today Facebook announced the results from their vote, in which users were asked to vote on the site’s Terms of Use, and it seems “only” 650,000 users turned out to vote (only 0.3% of its 200 million + active users). The “few” that did vote, overwhelmingly voted in favor of the “newly proposed documents” (75% to 25%), which include comments from users and privacy experts, and rumored ban of Iran (not true).

However, there were initial concerns that the poor turnout would make the vote meaningless. In promoting the “election” Facebook noted that they were requiring at least 30% of their active users to vote in order for it to count, which seemed possible in their eyes given they assisted in getting 60% of the U.S. population out to vote for the 2008 Presidential elections.

But this wasn’t the presidential election. At 200 million plus that meant that they were aiming for around 65 million users to turn out. Let’s just say they fell a little short. So will the vote still pass?

Yes, says Barry Schnitt, a Facebook spokesman, to the San Francisco Chronicle. Although he noted for future elections the company will consider reducing the vote threshold. As others have mentioned, Facebook really had no choice to tweak the “voting rules” to make it count; given that they’ve spent so much legal, marketing and PR time organizing it in the first place.

Voter controversy… The more Facebook starts to look like a democracy, the more it starts to look like a government. A government that cares about its future a lot more than it citizens do, which is  probably good for business.


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