Facebook Backlash Intensifies: What Will You Do?

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Things are getting uglier and uglier for Facebook, as the social networking site continues to feel the heat from those upset about its privacy policies. The site is scrambling to defend itself, planning an all-hands privacy summit for Thursday afternoon, and hiring an ex-Bush administration regulator to defend its privacy policies.

Still, many users are skipping the trial completely, and rushing right to the death sentence. But c'mon -- are you really ready to permanently delete your Facebook account, or is this just a reactionary meme?

Whether it's reactionary or not, people are increasingly turning to Google to find out how to deactivate their Facebook accounts; a quick glimpse at Google Trends shows a marked rise in inquiries.

If you type "delete" into Google, whose query suggestions are determined algorithmically, "delete Facebook account" comes up first. Influential blogs and respected industry icons have both ditched their accounts and introduced campaigns geared towards breaking up with Facebook. There's even a Facebook protest set for June 6, 2010. It's a storm, and we're in the eye.

(It's worth mentioning that, no matter the impetus for saying bye-bye to your electronic friends, ridding yourself of Facebook isn't that easy.)

As much as I think Facebook is sloppy when it comes to respecting privacy, I don't believe this rocket will orbit, nor will it produce compelling numbers of ship-jumpers -- especially since Facebook continues to grow. Yeah, Facebook has a big problem with privacy, but it's oh so deliciously distracting, and despite innumerable methods of protecting yourself, apathy is huge. I say it's best to wait and see what Facebook changes, and then we'll determine how worthwhile it is to shove it in the shredder.

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