Friday, January 22, 2010

Guest Post: Suicide solution

Avid Facebook junkie Jehan Mohd is slightly aghast and somewhat intrigued by the notion of being able to “off” yourself virtually. She guest-blogs about this new phenomenon here:

Picture by Aref Omar


TIRED of countless requests to be friends with strangers or to tend to friends’ neglected farms and pets?

Wish that you could spend more quality time with your friends (as you feel online interaction doesn’t count as actual interaction)?

Just plain tired of Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and LinkedIn?

Say hello to the Web 2.0 Suicide Machine, which touts its services with a simple slogan: “Meet your real neighbours again! Sign out forever!”.

The brainchild of Walter Langelaar, Gordan Savicic, and Danya Vasiliev, the programme has helped more than 1,000 people commit virtual suicide, severing more than 85,000 friendships on Facebook and removing over 300,000 tweets from Twitter.

The programme provides users an easy way out (no pun intended) from their online personas.

With a simple handing over of your login details and the click of the “commit” button on its site, the programme will delete all your info, leaving behind a profile with no data.

Nothing that a normal user wouldn’t do, except that it takes a fraction of the time you would normally take and it deletes EVERYTHING.

And, like real life, once the deed is done (actually once you start the process of killing off your 2.0 self, it cannot be stopped), it cannot be undone.

Needless to say the folks behind Facebook are not amused.

The corporation issued the folks behind the Suicide Machine a cease and desist letter (which the latter helpfully scanned and posted up on its site).

Among Facebook’s objections are that Suicide Machine’s actions violate Facebook’s Statement of Rights and Responsibility and that Facebook “takes the protection of its users’ privacy and security of their data very seriously” (this statement is laughable with its track record but that’s a whole other story).

In its FAQ page, Suicide Machine claims it does not store your password and that once the dirty deed is done, it only saves your profile picture, name and last words for posterity.

While it is looking to be a promising way to exit your social networking sites, I would rather do the deleting of my online persona on my own and in my own time.

Excuse me while I harvest my pumpkins in Farmville, feed my pseudo-cat in Petville and check in on my café in Café World…

2 comments:

panako(^_^*)koekan said...

I fail to see the logic.Suicide is killing yourself why does "web2.0suicide machine" not distribute the program so you can start the proces yourself.It would avoid the dreamed up legal arguments about login information made by facebook.Is there something more behind this..........

Jehan Mohd said...

Thanks for your comment, I think it might be a fad more than anything. There isn't really a need for it but it's like many other techie gadgets of today - a lot of extras that are handy but you wouldn't really miss them if they weren't there. And I fail to see how it clashes with the privacy issues Facebook alludes to as these are people who willingly give their details over to a third party (but I really wouldn't know FB's privacy laws). But like I said, I would still prefer to do the eliminating of my personal details myself..:)