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Facebook opens vote on user rights and data policy

Facebook wants you to vote on whether or not you should be able to vote...

The poll, which runs until 10 December, actually focuses on proposed updates to the company's data use policy and user rights and responsibilities. Among those proposals, however, is one that would do away with a system that has allowed users to vote on updates to Facebook's terms.

Facebook unveiled the proposed changes last month. "We found that the voting mechanism, which is triggered by a specific number of comments, actually resulted in a system that incentivized the quantity of comments over their quality," Elliot Schrage, Facebook's vice president of communications, public policy, and marketing, said at the time.

Facebook also proposed replacing the "Who can send you Facebook messages?" section of its privacy controls with "new filters for managing incoming messages." Finally, the company wants to share information with the companies it owns - like Instagram.

The changes prompted backlash from privacy advocates in the US and abroad. In response to the criticism, Facebook said today that is has "added new language to some of these proposals."

"Some of you were concerned that by ending the vote mechanism, you were losing your ability to shape the policies that govern Facebook," Facebook said. "To be clear, our goal in modifying our site governance process is to make sure that we receive feedback from you in the best, most productive way possible so that we can be responsive to your input."

In terms of data sharing with companies like Instagram, Facebook said this is a "standard" practice within the industry. "This provision covers Instagram and allows us to store Instagram's server logs and administrative records in a way that is more efficient than maintaining totally separate storage systems," Facebook said.

Users can vote on these changes via