Quit Facebook Day turns out to be uneventful

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facebook logoDespite the firestorm over changes Facebook made to its privacy features, very few Facebook users have voted with their feet. This is what Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg says and, by measure of Quit Facebook Day, he’s right.

In a backlash against Facebook’s cavalier approach to user privacy, two technologists from Toronto set up an online petition, declaring May the 31st as “Quit Facebook Day”. A grand total of 34,000 Facebook users deleted their accounts which is not even a drop in an ocean of 500 million users.

Even so, the organizers Joseph Dee and Matthew Milan shared the sentiment of millions of Facebook users who became frustrated with the way in which the social platform has been changing its privacy policy. The detailed and granular privacy controls Facebook implemented have become far too complex and, unless well understood, left most users sharing far more information than they were aware of.

Zuckerberg acknowledged user’s frustrations and last week announced a new set of controls that feature a dramatically simpler way of limiting publicly available information. These changes went a long way to satisfy concerned users and privacy groups. The problem is, as Zuckerberg says, that it is difficult to create a platform which is both social yet at the same time protect people’s privacy to the fullest extent.

Facebook is not only facing its users: there are on-going government concerns that officials have expressed about the site’s privacy practices. In fact Zuckerberg has received a letter from the House Judiciary Committee asking him to explain in detail every way in which Facebook has been sharing its user’s information with third parties without them knowing about it.


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