Facebook began collecting votes Dec. 3 on whether to change some of its user policies, including one that requires 30 percent of its members to tally their votes to prevent any changes to the existing user account rules.
But with about 1 billion members signed up, that means that some 333 million Facebook users would have to vote "no" to keep the old rules in force. That is very unlikely, since the last time a user policy vote was held earlier this year, only 342,000 people voted to halt the changes, according to Facebook.
The votes are being counted for proposed revisions to Facebook's Statement of Rights and Responsibilities (SRR) and Data Use Policy, according to the social media company. If users vote for the old policies that are already in place, that means that they don't favor the proposed changes.
The voting started at 3 p.m. ET Dec. 3, and continues through Dec. 10 at 3 p.m. ET.
As of 4 p.m. ET Dec. 4, the vote was 104,234 to keep the existing policies and 9,889 to adopt the new policies.
One of the most controversial proposed changes is that Facebook wants to halt the practice of members voting on user policy changes. Instead, Facebook wants to replace the voting system with a better system of direct feedback and comment to corporate officers, including the chief privacy officer, and through a series of live Webcasts, where comments and concerns about privacy, safety and security can be discussed.
Many Facebook users have opposed the proposal, arguing that it takes away their direct input. But with 1 billion members today, Facebook argues that it's just not possible to achieve those kinds of vote numbers, so they want to try a new system of getting user input.
Just voting on the latest rules changes proposal is showing the diverse opinions and objections of some of Facebook's members in the comments section of the Facebook Governance Page where the votes are being tallied.
User John Rees wrote that the odds of getting a third of a billion users to vote to keep the old rules will be quite a feat. "Facebook won't invite us to vote, so please share to get the word out. 30% of 1 billion is 300 million so this needs to go viral," he wrote.
Lisa Black wrote that she believes that many people didn't even know about the pending vote on the proposed new rules. "This is real, not some stupid scam to change the color of Facebook pages, etc.,” she wrote. "Everyone should like this page, read the proposed changes to Facebook, and vote. Your privacy information and how you use this site will be affected. This is how it starts. ... Always pay attention to the other hand, the 'government' wants you to remain ignorant. They have more power that way. Of course, I hear William and Kate are having a baby [so] I'm sure that's much more important ..."