SAN FRANCISCO -- Facebook has made it official: Its users will no longer get a vote in how the giant social network handles their personal information.
An independent auditor confirmed the results of the seven-day vote, the Menlo Park company said. The Facebook polls closed Monday. Even though Facebook had its biggest turnout ever, too few users cast ballots to have a say in the company's proposed policy changes.
Nearly 9 in 10 of those who voted were against the proposed changes, but only about 669,000 people cast ballots. That's less than 1 percent of Facebook's 1 billion-plus users.
Facebook requires that 30 percent of its users participate for a vote to count. Facebook has held two earlier elections and neither met that threshold.
The company said it would adopt the changes despite the opposition. Among the changes: taking away Facebook users' right to vote on future changes. Facebook said it plans to give users other ways to weigh in on policy changes, such as an "Ask the Chief Privacy Officer" question-and-answer forum on its website.
Among the other proposals that Facebook adopted Tuesday: It plans to loosen restrictions on who can message you on Facebook and it plans to share information with its affiliates, including popular photo-sharing service Instagram.
In comments on Facebook, some users protested.
"Wow, just wow. Don't ask people to vote,
Cindy Storm complained that the polls "were hard to locate and rarely worked."
Others complained that Facebook did not do enough to get out the vote.
And Colin Salter challenged the notion that Facebook needed 30 percent of users to vote to understand the will of the people.
"Considering the advancements in statistical testing over the past 20 years and considering that to get a confidence interval of plus/minus 3.5 percent you only need roughly 3,000 responses to project the results to an entire population, having more that 650,000 people vote on an issue is way more than adequate responses needed to know how the population would vote, especially considering the overwhelming people against the proposal," he commented.
But Elliot Schrage, vice president of communications, public policy and marketing, said in a blog post that Facebook made "substantial efforts to inform our users and encourage them to vote, both through emails and their News Feeds."
And, he said, Facebook would find other ways to get feedback from users.
"We understand that many of you feel strongly about maintaining the participatory nature of our site governance process. We do too. We believe that having a meaningful dialogue with our community through our notice and comment process is core to that effort moving forward," Schrage said.