Facebook today confirmed the results of its latest (and final) governance vote and will move forward with proposed changes allowing the company to alter policies without user approval. An external auditor provided Facebook with the final tally: a total of 668,872 members took part in the vote, with an overwhelming majority (589,141) asking the site to preserve its current Statement of Rights and Responsibilities and Data Use Policy. But those participants represent less than even one percent of Facebook's total user base, which presently stands at over one billion. Consequently the results aren't binding and Facebook has decided to proceed with its original plans.

That means, effective today, the company will do away with these site-wide governance votes. The surveys have often been derided as pointless since, unless 30 percent of members chime in, they merely serve as non-binding "advisories" to Facebook executives. But those behind the social network have pledged to keep an open dialogue with members by exploring "new, innovative and effective ways to enhance this process in order to maximize user engagement." But thanks to these official results, ultimately Facebook will always have the final say.