Quit Facebook Day wants users to delete Facebook accounts May 31
Quit Facebook Day is May 31. “How do I delete my Facebook account” is a top search inquiry on Google. Internet privacy issues are coming to a head as some of the hundreds of millions of users Facebook has attracted are turning against the social networking site in protest. In April, Facebook changed default privacy settings to allow the Internet at large access to personal information once available only to friends and networks.
Facebook privacy problems
Monday, Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerberg sought to reassure the public with an op-ed article in the Washington Post that Facebook would learn and adapt to accommodate Internet privacy concerns. Facebook’s privacy problems, including the “How do I delete my Facebook account” movement and the Quit Facebook Day website were inspired by a recent practice started by Facebook to make instant cash on the vast database of user information it has collected. Advertising companies were given information that could be used to look up individual profiles, which, depending on the site and the information a user has made public, include such things as a person’s real name, age, hometown and occupation. Several large advertising companies identified by the Wall Street Journal are receiving the data, including Google Inc.’s DoubleClick and Yahoo Inc.’s Right Media.
Internet privacy issues
Internet privacy issues have become harder to ignore now that more than 400 million Facebook users have accounts with default privacy settings that allow everything but contact information and birthdays to be accessed by anyone. Facebook has also changed how personal information is classified several times in ways that many users see as deliberately confusing. Quit Facebook Day questions Facebook’s intentions and the fairness of the choices it gives its users. People who want to know how do I delete my Facebook account believe Facebook doesn’t respect users or their personal information.
Quitting Facebook addiction
The people behind Quit Facebook Day have their work cut out for them. They acknowledge at quitfacebookday.com that quitting the Facebook addiction wouldn’t be easy even if it were easy to figure how to delete your Facebook account. Quit Facebook Day admits that Facebook is “engaging, enjoyable and quite frankly, addictive.” They equiate the difficulty of quitting the Facebook addiction to quitting smoking. Perhaps most importantly, they say:
“the way to quit Facebook is not to start a group on Facebook about leaving Facebook.”
Internet privacy issues
Quit Facebook Day may be May 31, but Future Tense reports that deciding to quit Facebook is a lot simpler than quitting. Users can search through menus and come upon a link to deactivate their account but they are confronted by pictures of people they have friended, along with messages from Facebook about how much they’ll miss them. Even with the account deactivated, the messages and event invitations will keep coming. Going through a few more steps can actually delete the account for good. The user will lose all the data, but Facebook won’t. They still have that information and will continue to use it for data mining.
Fixing a privacy loophole
In response to Facebook’s privacy problems and Internet privacy issues in general, Zuckerberg said if people share more, the world will be more open and connected. The Washington Post reports that Facebook said last week that it is fixing a privacy loophole that allowed advertisers to access user identification and potentially other information. Zuckerberg pledged to create a simpler way to control user information. In the coming weeks, he said Facebook will add privacy controls that are much simpler to use and provide an easy way to turn off all third-party services.