Facebook wants to change input choices

Nov. 30, 2012 at 4:45 PM
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PALO ALTO, Calif., Nov. 30 (UPI) -- Three years after it was praised for giving users a voice in major policy changes, U.S. social media giant Facebook says it may end the practice.

Facebook says it wants to find another way for them to weigh in on changes, a move that has upset many of the site's users.

In 2009 tens of thousands of people objected to controversial changes in Facebook's terms of service that appeared to give it permanent ownership of users' status updates, photos and other contributions to the site.

The resultant wide-spread protests led to Facebook letting users vote on major changes to how it handles their personal information, a move hailed at the time as groundbreaking but which Facebook says it may abandon.

Facebook wants a "system that leads to more meaningful feedback and engagement," Elliot Schrage, Facebook's vice president of communications, public policy and marketing, wrote in a blog post.

One Facebook user said he is "hugely disappointed" that Facebook wants to take away his right to vote.

"Most people on Facebook don't even know they can vote or even that a vote is going on," Julius Harper, a digital strategist from Valencia, Calif., told the Los Angeles Times.

"What is a democracy if you don't know where the polling place is? Or that a vote is even being held? How can you participate? Ignorance becomes a tool that can be used to disenfranchise people."

Joe Cheray, 40, who operates a social media company in Topeka, Kan., said Facebook users should still be given a say in how Facebook treats personal information.

"Facebook is creating an increasingly hostile user base in taking their power away from them," Cheray said.

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