By I-Hsien Sherwood | ( | First Posted: Dec 11, 2012 12:43 PM EST

A Facebook logo is displayed on a Kodak photo kiosk during the 2012 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Nevada, January 11, 2012. (Photo : Reuters)

As expected, Facebook will end users' ability to vote on changes to the privacy policy, after a public vote on the matter proved that most users don't care one way or the other.

Just 668,872 Facebook users voted in the poll, far short of the 300 million required for the results of the poll to be binding.

At issue was Facebook's long-standing policy of allowing a comment period on any changes to their privacy policy. In the past, if Facebook received at least 7,000 comments on a proposed change, they needed to allow users to vote on those changes before implementing them.

If 30 percent of Facebook's user base rejected the changes, they had to be scrapped.

Under the new system, the comment period still remains, but no matter how many people comment on the proposed changes or what they have to say about them, Facebook has the final say on what sticks.

Of course, in order to change a policy that requires users to vote on any changes to the policy, Facebook had to get those changes past a potential effort by users to retain the status quo.

Facebook did, and it was pretty easy.

That's partly because the size of the user base has ballooned in the past few years. In 2007, Facebook had 200 million users. Now it has 1 billion, but many of those accounts are abandoned, left by people who no longer use the site.

However, those accounts are still counted as active users when calculating votes. So while 300 million people needed to oppose the changes to the privacy policy in order to stop them, it's likely that number represents far more than 30 percent of the people who use the site regularly.

And how many of those people actually knew or cared about the changes? And considering how difficult it is to get a large group of people to agree on anything (election? Fiscal cliff? Mac vs. PC?), there was essentially zero chance that the changes would be opposed.

So now what?

Well, Facebook can make further changes as it sees fit. But that's pretty much what's been happening all along. A vocal minority of Facebook users get up in arms about privacy rights, but this most recent vote actually had some of the highest participation of any Facebook vote ever.

In fact, no Facebook vote has ever resulted in a halt to the proposed changes, simply because there's never been enough opposition in practice.

Maybe if we ever get a "dislike" button...

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