Feeds

Quit Facebook Day flops

Breaking the habit ain't easy

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Monday's Quit Facebook Day turned out to be something of a damp squib.

Just 34,100 of Facebook's more than 450 million members pledged to quit over privacy concerns. The low number is probably more a reflection of how hard it is to break the Facebook habit, rather than signifying acceptance of the simplified privacy controls introduced by the social network last week after much criticism, as QuitFacebookDay explains.

"Quitting Facebook isn't easy," the group said. "Facebook is engaging, enjoyable and quite frankly, addictive. Quitting something like Facebook is like quitting smoking. It's hard to stay on the wagon long enough to actually change your habits."

Of course many of those who've recently decided to quit Facebook have done so without making a pledge so the true figure of disaffected former members is difficult to gauge.

Facebook has weathered a series of privacy controversies in its short lifespan of just six years, including disquiet over its Newsfeed feature and Beacon advertising system, the latter of which the site was eventually forced to scrap.

The latest controversy kicked off in December with a privacy roll-back that meant users' profiles become public by default, whatever the previous settings. Plans announced by Facebook in March to share data with "pre-approved" third-party websites threw extra heat onto a simmering row, mainly since it coincided with negative reports by EU privacy officials and campaigns by privacy activists against the earlier changes.

Last week Facebook got rid of the 50 privacy settings and 150 options built into its system last year without really answering the fundamental question of why it wanted users to share material they posted online with the internet at large. The social networking site's seemingly compulsive tinkering with privacy settings also went unexplained.

Facebook chief exec Mark Zuckerburg claimed during a press conference announcing the simplified privacy settings that what Facebook users shared had no bearing on advertising revenues. He also said recommendations from people asking friends and contacts to join Facebook, something the social metric uses as a key metric in assessing likely growth, remained strong despite recent protests.

In other Facebook news, last weekend became the third successive week to witness a run of hacker attacks. Following earlier attacks themed around "Distracting Beach Babes" and "Sexiest Video Ever" the latest attack falsely promised the "Most Hilarious Video ever". Users who fell for the latest ruse were redirected to a fake login page in an attempt to trick them into handing over their login credentials, AVG reports.

Attempts were also made to target US users and con them into downloading scareware disguised as a video codec needed to view a non-existent clip, Websense adds. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Why has the web gone to hell? Market chaos and HUMAN NATURE
Tim Berners-Lee isn't happy, but we should be
Microsoft boots 1,500 dodgy apps from the Windows Store
DEVELOPERS! DEVELOPERS! DEVELOPERS! Naughty, misleading developers!
'Stop dissing Google or quit': OK, I quit, says Code Club co-founder
And now a message from our sponsors: 'STFU or else'
Apple promises to lift Curse of the Drained iPhone 5 Battery
Have you tried turning it off and...? Never mind, here's a replacement
Linux turns 23 and Linus Torvalds celebrates as only he can
No, not with swearing, but by controlling the release cycle
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
This is how I set about making a fortune with my own startup
Would you leave your well-paid job to chase your dream?
prev story

Whitepapers

Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up distributed data
Eliminating the redundant use of bandwidth and storage capacity and application consolidation in the modern data center.
The essential guide to IT transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIOs automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.