Thursday, 18 February 2010

The virtual suicide machine: facebook harasses Dutch artists for freedom of choice

Artists almost always impress. They work out of the box, they show us what is real and how unreal reality can be.

So facebook now sues a brilliant Dutch artist Walter Langelaar from the Worm artist collective. Why? Because they have developed a brilliant web2.0 suicide machine that actually erases ALL and EVERYTHING you have put on a particular social network site. So why is facebook (which started out as a fun endeavor for students) suddenly so angry (= lawyers, threatening letters, hostile words)? Because if you write yourself out of facebook, your data still remains in their servers, so they can use it for commercial purposes (your preferences, your interests...). So if facebook sells this data to third companies, those companies learn a little bit more about yourself. Now, if you use the virtual suicide machine to erase your facebook login, EVERYTHING gets erased, so your data can no longer be used for any commercial or other uses. To me that sounds like freedom of speech, freedom of choice, freedom of your own life.

Facebook tried shutting down the site by blocking the IP of this application, but know the collective will soon be releasing an open source version of their application (still under construction).

No matter how interesting facebook might be for any educational purposes, sending lawyers to friendly artists (Dutch)is just not done. For let's face it, there are enough other networking sites around that do not hassle great, inventive artists. I am considering taking my facebook life into my own hands once the open source equivalent is released by the artists collective.