NEW YORK – Facebook will adopt new rules governing the social network even though a vote fell well short of a minimum threshold.
The new documents specify, among other things, that users own their information, not Facebook. An earlier attempt to push changes led to user confusion and protests over who controls the personal information people share on the site.
More than 600,000 of Facebook's 200 million regular users voted over the past week, with nearly three-quarters in favor of the changes. Palo Alto, Calif.-based Facebook said Friday an outside auditor is verifying the results.
Ted Ullyot, Facebook's general counsel, said turnout is "a small number" compared with the site's user base. Facebook had set a minimum threshold of a 30 percent voter turnout for the vote to be binding. That would have been about 60 million people, or about 100 times the actual turnout.
"We'd hoped to have a bigger turnout for this inaugural vote, but it is important to keep in mind that this vote was a first for users just like it was a first for Facebook," Ullyot said in a blog post, adding that the site will consider lowering that threshold for future votes.
Julius Harper, who co-founded a Facebook group in February to protest the changes to the site's terms of service, said Facebook could have done a better job advertising the vote.
"Not everyone was aware of what was going on," said Harper, a Los Angeles-based video game producer.