"In the spring of 2009, the company came up with a fairly radical scheme in response to a user backlash over changes to its terms of service earlier that year. From that point on, Facebook pledged that every future proposed change to its governing documents would go through a user comment period. If 7,000 or more users commented on the proposal, it would trigger a site-wide vote. And if 30 percent of all Facebook users voted either "yea" or "nay" on the changes, the company would submit to their will. The catch is that this applied only to changes to the company's terms of service. Changes to actual features, like facial recognition or couples pages, were never up for referendum.
(...)That system will include a new "Ask the Chief Privacy Offer" feature and regular webcasts by chief privacy officer Erin Egan to address users' questions and concerns, according to Shrage's announcement. The company also hopes it will also result in more substantive comments on proposed changes in the future, now that there's no incentive to flood Facebook with form-letter comments in a bid to meet the vote threshold."