27 February 2009

Facebook Tries to Become a Democracy

(New York Times)
by Brad Stone. A week after its community erupted in protest over changes to its terms of service that appeared to give it control over its users' information, Facebook announced that all significant policy changes on the site would be subject to comments from members and, if they prove controversial, a popular vote. Most immediately, Facebook will open a dialogue with users over a set of principles, or "foundational elements for how we want to govern the site," said Mark Zuckerberg, the company's founder and chief executive. Users will have the opportunity over the next 30 days to comment and vote on these principles, which are posted in a document that tries to harness some of the verbal eloquence of a governing constitution. In making this change, Facebook is conceding again that it goofed with its new terms of service and needs to play closer attention to users.