Facebook has been facing some major backlash over their latest modifications to privacy concerns– from the ubiquity of their “Like” button to the fact that now your Facebook information will be shared with most major websites to tailor their advertising to you– but this may be the first major organized movement to abandon the platform. “Quit Facebook Day” is scheduled for May 31st, and the leaders, Matthew Milan and Joseph Dee, have a serious bone to pick with the social networking site.
While most of the complaints have come from the privacy side of things, with even the US Senate writing complaints to the company and recently uncovered disparaging comments from creator Mark Zuckerberg to early users of the website, Milan and Dee believe it is the entire culture around Facebook that is dangerous, and have made it a mission to make the future Facebook about a relevant to social media as Friendster is today. From their website:
Facebook gives you choices about how to manage your data, but they aren’t fair choices, and while the onus is on the individual to manage these choices, Facebook makes it damn difficult for the average user to understand or manage this. We also don’t think Facebook has much respect for you or your data, especially in the context of the future.
For a lot of people, quitting Facebook revolves around privacy. This is a legitimate concern, but we also think the privacy issue is just the symptom of a larger set of issues. The cumulative effects of what Facebook does now will not play out well in the future, and we care deeply about the future of the web as an open, safe and human place. We just can’t see Facebook’s current direction being aligned with any positive future for the web, so we’re leaving.
There definitely seems to be the will for a mass exodus individually, although only about 800 of the millions of users on Facebook have made the pledge currently. As the Quit Facebook Day team says, quitting Facebook is almost as difficult as quitting smoking. Which reminds me: Remember when everyone was angry at “TheFacebook.com” for adding a News Feed to the homepage, or for getting rid of “The Facebook Guy“? Those were the days.
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