Vote on Facebook’s Governing Documents Started

Facebook Site Governance Vote

Facebook’s privacy policy in last few months created lots of waves. Specially content ownership clause in their policy document resulted in many people deleting their Facebook account.

Facebook realized their mistake and retracted their policy document. Also, as a measure to stop users from deleting their account, they placed notification about their policy retraction on Facebook account deletion page. (source)

Facebook also created a dedicated page – Facebook Site Governance, where they keep user informed and involved about this whole process.

Now in order to further win their users confidence, Facebook started voting process where their user can vote on policy document which will govern use of Facebook’s service. This voting process will close on April 23 at 11:59am PDT. Facebook also published voting rules for this event.

So what will be you voting for exactly…

There is only question to vote for… “Which documents should govern the Facebook Site?”

And choices are…

  1. The proposed documents: Revised Statement of Rights and Responsibilities and Facebook Principles – 4/16/09 (These documents reflect comments from users and experts received during the 30-day comment period.)
  2. Existing documents: The current Terms of Use – 9/23/08 (This document was developed entirely by Facebook and does not reflect any third-party outside comments.)

Well reading all docs is too much work. But being a user, I have voted for “The Proposed Documents” which must be better as it has contribution from user community!

Below are poll stats after I submitted my vote…

Facebook Site Governance Vote on Facebook

Link: Vote on Facebook’s Governing Documents


Akshay K April 17, 2009

I would in principle vote for proposed documents (as on 17 April 09)
REASON: The following lines will make it clear

When you post User Content to the Site, you authorize and direct us to make such copies thereof as we deem necessary in order to facilitate the posting and storage of the User Content on the Site. By posting User Content to any part of the Site, you automatically grant, and you represent and warrant that you have the right to grant, to the Company an irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive, transferable, fully paid, worldwide license (with the right to sublicense) to use, copy, publicly perform, publicly display, reformat, translate, excerpt (in whole or in part) and distribute such User Content for any purpose, commercial, advertising, or otherwise, on or in connection with the Site or the promotion thereof, to prepare derivative works of, or incorporate into other works, such User Content, and to grant and authorize sublicenses of the foregoing. You may remove your User Content from the Site at any time. If you choose to remove your User Content, the license granted above will automatically expire, however you acknowledge that the Company may retain archived copies of your User Content.


you grant us a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use any IP content that you post on or in connection with Facebook (“IP License”). This IP License ends when you delete your IP content or your account (except to the extent your content has been shared with others, and they have not deleted it).
2.2 When you delete IP content, it is deleted in a manner similar to emptying the recycle bin on a computer. However, you understand that removed content may persist in backup copies for a reasonable period of time (but will not be available to others).

Akshay K April 17, 2009

I forgot to highlight above that the PROPOSED document explicitly says that the backup copies will persist for a reasonable amount of time.

The current (as on 17 April 09) document makes no such assurance.

Akshay K April 17, 2009

To those who didn’t notice the current license gives facebook irrevocable, perpetual rights over YOUR PHOTOS etc.
The new document (proposed, all it requires is your vote) removes these two works.
Many may argue that the current license says the license is revoked when I delete my account, but why leave the ambiguity over this ‘irrevocable and perputual’ business?

Rahul Bansal April 22, 2009

Thanks for great input Akshay.
I am really impressed by amount of details you have provided. 🙂