Our main goal at Facebook is to help make the world more open and transparent. We believe that if we want to lead the world in this direction, then we must set an example by running our service in this way.
Whether this can be widely understood as a new benchmark of corporate transparency and accountability, or as simply a PR exercise designed to placate many of the site's frustrated and skeptical users is still undetermined, however, it does appear to be a step in the right direction.
To that end, the company has announced two new documents — its statement of Principles and a Statement of Rights and Responsibilities — both of which will be able to be discussed, commented, and voted on during a 30 day time period in which Facebook will hold "virtual Town Halls" to allow user discussion.
Facebook committed to holding virtual Town Halls following the announcement of the new Principles and Statement of Rights and Responsibilities for 30 days, with the comment period scheduled to close at 12:01 a.m. PDT on March 29. During this time, users have an opportunity to comment on the proposed policy.
This also addresses specific concerns raised by users on the Facebook Bill of Rights and Responsibilities Group. Users are invited to comment on the Principles, and on the Statement of Rights and Responsibilities, by joining the following new groups specifically created for such comments; Principles at http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=54... and Statement of Rights and Responsibilities should join the group at http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=67....
Following the 30 day period, Facebook plans to "review and consider submissions" and the re-launch the documents again, after incorporating any changes it has made.
Additionally, the site plans to allow a period for user voting and consideration in advance of future policies and it plans to establish a "user council" that would be able "to participate more closely in the development and discussion of policies and practices".
What do you think of this proposed change? Is Facebook finally getting it right — and have they earned your trust?