Here's something you might not have known: You have voting rights on Facebook. Well, more like "had." The social network announced yesterday that it plans to do away with its current voting system, which gives users the power to ax policy changes they're not keen on. The system had worked something like this: Facebook would put policy changes to a vote, and if got 7,000 comments and 30% of Facebook users cast a "nay" ballot, the change would be struck down. Going forward, Facebook will instead rely on a week-long comment period, and a new forum where users can get their questions answered by the company's chief privacy officer, reports the Wall Street Journal.
And while the move has some crying foul—Facebook "officially became an oligarchy" yesterday, declares Chris Taylor for Mashable—it's fairly clear that the old system wasn't ideal. Taylor himself explains that the last such vote happened in June, when users were asked to vote in favor of one of two statements of rights and responsibilities; 342,632 users did so, which amounts to a piddling 0.038% of Facebook’s population at the time. But some question if the new way is any better. Says an attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, "It is clear there is a new page where you can ask questions, what’s unclear is if it will be effective."