Home De-Mock-cracy In Action: Facebook’s Open Governance

De-Mock-cracy In Action: Facebook’s Open Governance

Following February’s slew of complaints regarding Facebook’s Terms of Use amendment, founder Mark Zuckerberg launched an “Open Governance” model and wrote, “If [Facebook] were a country, it would be the sixth most populated country in the world. Our terms aren’t just a document that protect our rights; it’s the governing document for how the service is used by everyone across the world.” Today Facebook redrafted its Statement of Rights and Responsibilities and while users / citizens have until August 18th to comment, we can’t help thinking the system is a bogus democracy.

After a week of acquiring Friendfeed and launching a real time search engine, the blue nation appears to be growing at an alarming rate. In order to address the growth and new promotional ecosystem, notable changes to the Bill of Rights incorporate bans on citizen marketing abuse. Facebook hopes to stop spammers from overrunning the site and as pointed out by Inside Facebook, prohibit companies like Magpie, Twittad and Sponsored Tweets from starting profile sponsoring programs. Other marketing-related points included the phrases, “You will not engage in unlawful multi-level marketing, such as a pyramid scheme” and “You will not offer any contest, giveaway, or sweepstakes (“promotion”) on Facebook without our prior written consent.”

As citizens of this vast country, it’s nice that we can smite the spammers and illegal pyramid schemers that plague our great nation. And then I remember, this isn’t ACTUALLY a country. It’s a company. If it were really a nation, we would know where we’re supposed to offer our comments pre-August 18th and each of the “Rights” would have been spelled out separately as amendments to a pre-existing document. In fact, by now all of this info should have arrived in our mailboxes as a poorly designed pamphlet full of cheesy stock photography.

While Facebook’s “Open Governance” redraft is an admirable attempt to encourage crowd sourced decision-making, it lacks the feedback mechanism to make it a success. Critics will argue that this is intentional, but it feels more like the system (or lack thereof) was rushed to the public after the TOS uproar in February. While this amendment to the Facebook Bill of Rights is a fairly tame one, consider joining the Bill of Rights group for future updates and leaving a comment. At this rate, if Facebook acquires anymore companies or services, you might find your entire online identity living in one social networking landscape. It’s not like the administration is going to change, let’s just hope a loud majority can usher in a better system.

Photo credit: David Drexler

About ReadWrite’s Editorial Process

The ReadWrite Editorial policy involves closely monitoring the tech industry for major developments, new product launches, AI breakthroughs, video game releases and other newsworthy events. Editors assign relevant stories to staff writers or freelance contributors with expertise in each particular topic area. Before publication, articles go through a rigorous round of editing for accuracy, clarity, and to ensure adherence to ReadWrite's style guidelines.

Get the biggest tech headlines of the day delivered to your inbox

    By signing up, you agree to our Terms and Privacy Policy. Unsubscribe anytime.

    Tech News

    Explore the latest in tech with our Tech News. We cut through the noise for concise, relevant updates, keeping you informed about the rapidly evolving tech landscape with curated content that separates signal from noise.

    In-Depth Tech Stories

    Explore tech impact in In-Depth Stories. Narrative data journalism offers comprehensive analyses, revealing stories behind data. Understand industry trends for a deeper perspective on tech's intricate relationships with society.

    Expert Reviews

    Empower decisions with Expert Reviews, merging industry expertise and insightful analysis. Delve into tech intricacies, get the best deals, and stay ahead with our trustworthy guide to navigating the ever-changing tech market.