Did you vote? And no, I am not talking about for Romney or Obama. Or anything political for that matter. I am talking Facebook. A few years ago, Facebook was the first company of its kind to experiment with democracy when it provided its users with the right to vote on policy changes and updates. While news of this new social media democracy spread like wildfire, not even 1 percent of Facebook’s 1 billion users actually voted.
Facebook announced last week that it is taking back the right to vote, resulting in severe backlash from the general public and privacy advocacy groups around the world. Users took to their Facebook timelines to address their concerns and to attempt to protect their privacy and copyright rights by posting a long message with lots of legal mumbo jumbo. A bit of research can go along way as this ended up being a hoax fabricated to create a privacy scare amid Facebook’s recent privacy changes.
Facebook provided users with the right to vote back in 2009 in an attempt get feedback about updates to its policies. Since then, the company has tripled in size, gone public, and now has Wall Street stakeholders that it must answer to. Facebook pointed out that the voting process ended up emphasizing ‘quantity over quality’, and the experiment with democracy just didn’t work.
Kudos to Facebook for exercising its rights in a free democracy!
Hemanshu (Hemu) Nigam is an online safety, security, and privacy expert and CEO of SSP Blue, an online security consultancy. He is also a frequent contributor to CNN, HLN, Fox News Channel, Fox Business Network, CBS, HLNTV.com, and abcnews.com. To sign up for SSP Blue’s Weekly News & Info, please click here, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter. See also Hemu’s personal site.