Wednesday, August 24, 2011

To Kill the (Twitter)Bird

They say that for every market, a submarket grows.

Introducing the Web 2.0 Suicide Machine! According to the site:
"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."

Termed by Mark Gibbs as "Social Suicide", this application will "kill for FREE" accounts on Facebook, Myspace, LinkedIn and Twitter in a mere 52 minutes, as opposed to 9.5 hours of DIY.

The aim of the machine is NOT TO DELETE the account, but to remove private content and friend relationships. By doing this, they hope to remove the data being stored (forever) and cached out of the servers of these social networking sites, which cannot be entirely done with just account deactivation.

web 2.0 suicide machine - untwitter from moddr_ on Vimeo.

The developers premise this application on the right of everyone to disconnect as opposed to the seamless connectivity these sites offer. While Twitter or FB Suicide might sound morbid and anti-social, the underlying issue being addressed here is the right to privacy.

This rationale finds support in the case of Olmstead v. United States (1928) wherein Justice Brandeis elaborated that the right to privacy, the right to be let alone as "the most comprehensive of rights and the right most valued by civilized men." While the case was decided almost a century ago, this doctrine proves to be true in the current information age we live in. The development of technology has posed numerous issues and gray areas which the law did not foresee and central to this is our inherent right to privacy. While we may be enjoying our "friends only" updates and tags; every time we hit that post/tweet/like button, it becomes recorded and stored for God knows how long. "Forever" is just another word to describe the unknown.

"Privacy is one of the biggest problems in this new electronic age. At the heart of the Internet culture is a force that wants to find out everything about you. And once it has found out everything about you and two hundred million others, that's a very valuable asset, and people will be tempted to trade and do commerce with that asset. This wasn't the information that people were thinking of when they called this the information age."

--"What I've Learned: Andrew Grove", co-founder and former CEO of Intel Corporation, May 1, 2000

Soleil Flores
Entry No. 10

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