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Facebook offs social suicide service

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Facebook is blocking IP addresses relating to companies which offer a social network deletion service.

Once you give the Web 2.0 Suicide Machine your log-in details for social networking services, it automates the rigamarole of unfriending people and leaving groups. It then changes your passwords on the social networking so you cannot access the sites again.

But Facebook has now blocked IP addresses used by the service.

The anti-social networking company's website suggests you go and meet your real neighbours instead after you have said goodbye to Web 2.0. It offers the service for sites including Twitter, MySpace and other social networks.

It claims the deletion can be completed in 52 minutes, rather than the 9 hours 35 minutes it would take assuming you had 1000 Facebook acquaintances.

Facebook blocked access by, and threatened legal action against, an Italian firm called Sepukko in December which offered similar services.

The firm said Facebook's threats were based on protecting user privacy, which might raise a smile given the controversy over the company's recent changes to user privacy.

It is not actually possible to completely delete a Facebook profile once it has been set up. Instead the site will allow you to 'deactivate' your profile, which makes it effectively invisible to other users, or you can send a request to Facebook admins to properly destroy your presence on the site.

To be fair of course, given Google and other caches, there is a danger that anything you put online will never truly die.

Facebook sent us the following statement: "Facebook provides the ability for people who no longer want to use the site to either deactivate their account or delete it completely. Web 2.0 Suicide Machine collects login credentials and scrapes Facebook pages, which are violations of our Statement of Rights and Responsibilities. We've blocked the site’s access to Facebook as is our policy for sites that violate our SRR. We're currently investigating and considering whether to take further action."®

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