Feeds

Facebook vote a 'massive con trick' says privacy advocate

Conspiracy theory? No-one saw that coming

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Facebook has deliberately changed the rules around its much-hyped "user vote" to ensure that it won't have to follow decisions made.

The company originally said that if 25 per cent of users voted in favour of a change in its terms and conditions it would consider that binding. But that percentage has now gone up to 30 per cent.

Simon Davies of lobby group Privacy International said: "the idea of establishing a thirty percent participation threshold is a complete joke. It will never be reached, and Facebook knows it. Earlier this year the figure had been set at 25 percent, and it was edged up because of concerns that users might actually succeed in changing the terms and conditions”.

Davies, who originally supported the move, said specifying active users as those who have used their accounts in the last 30 days made reaching the target even more difficult. Indeed Davies is so confident that he and other senior staff members have promised to eat their shorts if the threshold is ever reached.

The process was established because of the row that broke out when Facebook changed its T&Cs in February to grant itself licence to all users' content forever, even if they deleted their accounts. Chief exec Mark Zuckerberg was later forced to reinstate the old terms.

Facebook users who joined before 26 February and have logged into the site at least once in the 30 days previous to that are entitled to vote. Voting ends 23 April at midday PDT.

There's more info, and voting for members, here.

This reminds us of the 1979 referendum on Scottish independence, which was scuppered by an amendment requiring any vote in favour to equal at least 40 per cent of the registered electorate. In the event 51 per cent voted in favour. This was only 33 per cent of the total electorate so independence was rejected. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
BBC: We're going to slip CODING into kids' TV
Pureed-carrot-in-ice cream C++ surprise
China: You, Microsoft. Office-Windows 'compatibility'. You have 20 days to explain
Told to cough up more details as antitrust probe goes deeper
Linux turns 23 and Linus Torvalds celebrates as only he can
No, not with swearing, but by controlling the release cycle
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
This is how I set about making a fortune with my own startup
Would you leave your well-paid job to chase your dream?
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.