Facebook users vote 'yes' to new content-ownership terms

According to the BBC, around 75% of votes cast by Facebook users were in support of the company's new privacy and content-ownership terms, dubbed the "Facebook Principles and Statement of Rights and Responsibilities". Although the company had initially said it would only count the vote as valid if more than 30% of their 200 million users voted, Facebook's legal chief Ted Ullyot reported that the new terms would be adopted even though voter turnout was only about 0.3% (about 600,000).

The vote came about as the result of much concern reported all over the Internet and reported here at Neowin over just who owned the content (text, images, and video) uploaded by users to the service.

As also reported on Neowin, the company's first response was to revert back to its old terms of use, but this turned out to be a stop-gap measure to give Facebook time to remake its relations with its users along more transparent lines. The company's new terms and conditions will be up "on the site in the coming weeks," according to Ted Ullyot and should, it is hoped, satisfy users' earlier concerns over content-ownership issues.

The poor voter turnout this time around will also affect future votes on alterations to the terms that govern Facebook's relations with its users. Although one of the rights users now have is to vote on any future alterations to the terms and conditions (another concession on Facebook's part to the idea of "openness"), the turnout needed to effect changes will remain below the initially optimistic 30%.

One possibility for the relatively low voter turnout is that most users were not in fact as concerned with the issues that precipitated Facebook's change of policy as the relatively high level of outrage that swept through Internet news sites and blogs in February seemed to suggest.

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