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Facebook blocks social-network deletion service

But 'Web 2.0 Suicide Machine' is fighting back

A website aimed at those who want to remove their social networking profile completely with a few keystrokes has criticised Facebook for killing off its access to the social network, claiming its 'Web 2.0 Suicide Machine' does not break any of Facebook's rules.

Called Web 2.0 Suicide Machine, the site's pitch goes like this: "Tired of your Social Network? Liberate your newbie friends with a Web 2.0 suicide! This machine lets you delete all your energy-sucking social-networking profiles, kill your fake virtual friends, and completely do away with your Web 2.0 alter ego.

"The machine is just a metaphor for the website which Moddr is hosting; the belly of the beast where the Web 2.0 suicide scripts are maintained. Our service currently runs with Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and LinkedIn! Commit NOW!"

The 'machine' is the brainchild of Moddr, "your 'unfriendly' neighborhood medialab" located in Rotterdam.

Facebook, at least, is apparently not amused, as shown by this message, which appeared on the Suicide Machine website this morning: "After more than 50,000 friends being unfriended and more than 500 forever 'signed out' users, Facebook started to block our suicide machine from its servers without any comment. We are currently looking at ways to circumvent this ungrounded restriction imposed on our service!"

A spokesperson for Facebook said: "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 violates our Statement of Rights and Responsibilities (SRR). 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."

However Gordan Savicic, billed as the Suicide Machine's 'chief euthanasia officer', said the organisation has yet to hear directly from Facebook.

"I guess they are waiting [to see] if we'll circumvent their restriction. We are working on exactly that right now," he said.

Asked if they violating the Facebook terms, Savicic said: "No, not from our point of view. We are just offering a service to users who want to drop out of Facebook."

Savicic claimed that, according to Facebook's terms of service, the site shouldn't be threatening his organisation, but rather the people who commit Facebook suicide - since the rules stipulate 'You will not share your password, let anyone else access your account, or do anything else that might jeopardise the security of your account'.

"And again, we are neither 'hacking' into their servers, nor scraping their pages," he added. "We only store the profile picture and the name of the user. This is actually possible without even logging into Facebook."

As for Facebook's hint at further action?

"We are very excited to investigate further into what they actually meant!"

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See also: Facebook fights back after EPIC privacy complaint

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