Facebook Halts Social Network Suicide Websites

January 5th, 2010 at 12:00 am

Suicide Machine

Is your online experience too draining for you?  Have hours upon hours of Facebooking and Twittering deprived you of enjoying your life off the keyboard?  Do you want to just end it all together?

Normally, those who want to get rid of their social networking simply delete their accounts, but that does not make a statement.  This is why some websites encourage you to declare to your network of ending your Web 2.0 life by committing "social network suicide."  The likes of Seppukoo.com and SuicideMachine.org encourage you to give your username and password and their own scripts will do the dirty job for you.

So what is so different about it?  In the case of Seppukoo, it creates a "memorial page" that it sends to your erstwhile online networking connections.  Meanwhile, Web 2.0 Suicide Machine does things quite slowly as you see your profile photo changed into a pink noose, changed your password so you won’t access it again, and get disconnected to your friends and groups one at a time before laying the final nail to the coffin:  logging out forever.

Facebook, however, does not like the idea and begins to slap both websites with severe punishment.  First, the company files a cease-and-desist letter to Les Liens Invisibles, the people behind Seppukoo, claiming of violation of an assortment of laws like anti-hacking, federal spam, and copyright statute.  Meanwhile, Facebook blocks Suicide Machine from accessing the social networking site.

"Facebook provides the ability for people who no longer want to use the site to either deactivate their account or delete it completely," says a Facebook representative.  "Web 2.0 Suicide Machine collects log-in credentials and scrapes Facebook pages, which are violations of our Statement of Rights and Responsibilities… We are currently investigating and considering whether to take further action."

However, not everybody seems convinced about Facebook’s claims.  "That justification would perhaps carry more weight if Facebook itself hadn’t just revised its privacy controls by resetting many of its default settings to ‘share everything,’" says Rafe Needleman of CNET.  "Apparently, it’s one thing for Facebook to share users’ data with search engines and other Web users, but quite another when an outside company gets hold of the same information."

And while Facebook is on a warpath against social network suicide sites, we have yet to hear from MySpace, Twitter, and LinkedIn, all of which can also be accessed by Suicide Machine.

Honestly, just delete your profile from within your social network site if you want to get out.

Image source:  Web 2.0 Suicide Machine