I found out about Suicide Machine (suicidemachine.org) from a blog post in my net travels. I was definitely intrigued by the automated way it helps “unfriend” you and permanently delete your Facebook data. Personally, I was anxious to permanently delete my own. I didn’t get to it until tonight and read the Cease & Desist letter from FB basically shutting down Suicide Machine. From their suicide note: “The idea behind the Web 2.0 Suicide Machine was to be able to ‘unfriend’ in an automated fashion and to make users of social networks aware that they should always be in control of their own data. Facebook won’t allow for this control and is also not willing to enter into this debate. We are pretty much done with that and are left with no other choice than to commit online suicide ourselves. The conditions and attitude of Facebook leave no other option as far as WORM is concerned.”
So the Web 2.0 Dr. Kavorkian is no more. But there’s still hope. If you go into your account settings under Profile, you can request PERMANENT DELETION. Of course, it’s a request so I’m not sure how fast it happens. Wow, talk about making it difficult to the very end. Here’s what FB says about deletion: http://www.facebook.com/help/?faq=13016 . Because only ‘deactivation’ was my only option last year, I’m going to fill out their silly form and I’ll report back how long it takes for them to actually delete it.
UPDATE: One minute later… so I had to put in my password and a ‘captcha’ field and hit the delete button after some text about ‘are you sure?’ “Voila!” I get a box that says: “Your account has been deactivated from the site and will be permanently deleted within 14 days. If you log into your account within the next 14 days, your account will be reactivated and you will have the option to cancel your request.” 14 Days?! 14 stinkin’ days??? Seriously, just delete it. I’ve already given it lots of thought, rumination and reflection. How desperate are they to hold onto my information?
Are that many people jumping the FB ship? I read a blog post recently that Baby Boomers left by the truckload in 2009. The blogger asked why? Baby Boomers are more discrete? Maybe they just see the implications of living such a transparent life online that mixes business and personal stuff. The rest of the post explains 10 Security Reasons to Quit and One Reason to Stay. The #1 reason: Your Privacy is History. That’s enough for me. Who needs to read the remaining nine reasons. Well, the one reason to stay would be to monitor your child’s FB usage. But then you shouldn’t ‘friend’ your son or daughter. That’s as embarrassing as giving them a Hello Kitty lunchbox. No, it’s to lurk on their page. How about teaching them the risk of online privacy and the consequences of their cyber-activities? Then you’d have to trust them and still tell them you’re monitoring it. But that’s a post for another day. I’ll report back in 14 days to see if my account is really *poof* gone forever!