Facebook poll on the Data Usage Policy: vote against!
A protracted conflict
“Chinese understanding of Democracy”
While Facebook seems to be proud of their efforts, ‘Europe versus Facebook’ considers the vote to be a façade: “It seems their motto is that democracy is only allowed if the results are right. Zuckerberg seems to have taken democracy lessons in China.”, it says on their website. Apart from a video post by Mark Zuckerberg and the earlier mentioned announcement, the network seems to prefer as few votes as possible: Before being able to vote you’ll have to receive a direct link to the voting page from a friend or a website, you’ll be kindly asked to review over 67 pages of legal documents, and confronted with an unrepresentative summary of the changes.
Since thirty per cent of the Facebook users will have to vote to make a binding outcome, it seems fair to say that it is a lost battle. Currently, less than 0,02 % of the users have voted at all with only three days are left for European users. When the election threshold is not met, the vote only counts as an advisory statement by Facebook’s users.
Even though it’s a lost battle, you still should vote. Your privacy is at stake and you should make your voice heard. I bet you wouldn’t want me to follow you everywhere you go and note down every whereabouts, so why should Facebook be able to do so without you agreeing to it? And would you want your employer to know what you say about them, either in private or on Facebook?
But it is not merely about privacy. A vote against the proposed documents, is a vote casted against you being a commercial message. As is apparent from the New York Times’ article, your funny-meant post on a product at Amazon may be used by Facebook to earn money by making an advert for Amazon out of your post. Word of mouth is thus no longer what it once was, and you yourself are being served with commercials that are targeting you personally, based on all the personal information you gave them.
To make a long story short: Go to voting platform, skip the presented arguments, and cast your vote for the current documents. If only 30 % of the Facebook users do so, the company is forced not to implement the proposed revisions, and restart the process of renewing their Data Use Policy. And that’s important, because then there’s a chance for us to further force Facebook to treat our data with respect.
Take one minute, before it’s too late…
This post was also published on RoTimes, a news blog maintained by students of the International Bachelor in Communication and Media, as part of a project to get experience with journalism.