These changes, announced in May a week before the Initial Public Offering of Facebook stock, include new sections explaining how Facebook manages users information. It is also been updated regarding newer features, such as the new "Timeline" profile format.
Assuming that thirty percent of Facebook's 900 million users (which comes to 270 million people) vote on the changes, either for or against, then Facebook will consider the decision binding. Otherwise, however, the vote will be considered only as "advisory".
It is also possible that this will be the last time. Facebook's attempt at democratic processes has not been as successful as anticipated. Thousands of users commented on Facebook’s proposed changes, but Facebook's chief privacy officer of policy Erin Egan said that, "our original intent was to get high-quality," not high quantity feedback.
It is disappointing to see that an initiative to gather user feedback by the world's largest social network would end up as a disappointment. Facebook users are well known for frequently complaining about site changes. A system of democracy could help eradicate a lot of these misgivings.
Facebook indicated, however, that it is still interested in receiving user feedback for policy changes, but is still trying to find the best way to do this.
In a blog post, Facebook vice president Elliot Schrage wrote,
"While our participatory mechanisms may change, our commitment to greater transparency, accountability and responsiveness will not. We will explore ways to bring user suggestions and concerns before Facebook's management."
Voting began on Friday, June 1, at 9:00 A.M (PDT) and ends Friday, June 8, at 9:00 A.M (PDT).
Facebook users can vote here.