Jan 9 2010   3:14AM GMT

Anti-“Social Network” Phenomena

Arian Eigen Heald Arian Eigen Heald Profile: Arian Eigen Heald

When I heard about some sort of site that was set up to promote a service called the “Web 2.0 Suicide Machine,” I just had to check it out:
From their website for Cyber-Suicide:

Tired of your Social Network?

Liberate your newbie friends with a Web2.0 suicide! This machine lets you delete all your energy sucking social-networking profiles, kill your fake virtual friends, and completely do away with your Web2.0 alterego…. Our service currently runs with Facebook, Myspace, Twitter and LinkedIn! Commit NOW!

I especially liked the illustration using a noose.

Yet another site, from Japan, titled Seppukoo promotes it’s service with the following slogans:

Discover what’s after your Facebook life. We assist your virtual identity suicide.
You are more than your virtual identity. Pass away and leave your ID behind.
Impress your friends, disconnect yourself. Join the world wide suicidal network

Interestingly enough, Facebook has pulled out the legal playbook and sent them both Cease & Desist nastygrams, claiming their services violate user privacy. The irony of that statement (almost) renders me speechless.

What a shame these services can’t erase all the dumb things your teenager and friends have previously posted, which are out there forever. When he’s applying for a job at age 30, they still will do an Internet Search and come up with the “Great pic of my new tats!” he posted 15 years ago when he belonged to a group called “tightpantstatts.” (I’m giving you the abbreviated version of their name, but they DO exist. And no doubt will continue to.)

I can certainly see the appeal of “unfriending” every person you don’t know (and some you wish you didn’t, that somehow snuck in). I also like the idea of a program that can clean you out of social networks that exist, all at once. But no “service” appears to be set up to get all of the social networks at once. Yet.

Now that Facebook is trying to shut two down, others will be springing up like weeds.

Consider, however, that you must give these “services,” your usernames and passwords for the social networks you belong to. You don’t use that username or password anywhere else, right?

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