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Thousands sign in to say quits to Facebook
Published on 18 May. 2010 9:56 PM IST
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Facebook is under fire for its privacy policies and users are lining up online to log out from the world’s largest social networking website, for good.
Matthew Milan and Joseph Dee from Toronto have set up a website to bring together people who have had enough of Facebook and intend to delete their accounts. They have chosen May 31 as “Quit Facebook Day.”
Facebook’s recent introduction of the Open Graph platform that allows third-party websites to access information to “personalise” the surfing experience has attracted widespread criticism from privacy advocates.
Earlier this month, the Electronic Privacy Information Center and a coalition of 14 other advocacy groups filed a complaint to the US Federal Trade Commission blasting Facebook for disclosing user information to third-parties without user consent.
Matthew and Joseph agree that quitting Facebook is not easy because “Facebook is engaging, enjoyable and quite frankly, addictive. Quitting something like Facebook is like quitting smoking.”
Matthew in a post on his Tumblr blog says “Facebook is a website; it’s NOT the web - and I have a choice about MY data. I doubt my act of quitting will compel many others to leave”.
The quitting-Facebook bandwagon has (at the time of filing this report) “4308 Committed Facebook Quitters.” While this is just a drop in the vast ocean of over 400 million active Facebook users around the world, people are standing up to take notice.
The social networking website’s growing trove of information about its users is seen as a valuable commodity to advertisers, who can use the data to better target marketing messages to various groups of people.
Facebook, which was created in a Harvard dorm room in 2004, has repeatedly faced privacy concerns as the social networking service has evolved and grown over the years.
A 2007 initiative dubbed Beacon, which published Facebook users’ activity at other websites to their Facebook news feed, triggered a strong backlash. And the company faced objections last year when it rolled out changes to privacy settings that made certain information viewable to everyone on the service, instead of just to friends on Facebook.

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