by Mark Gibbs

Web 2.0 Suicide Machine: When You Just Can’t Take Any More Social Media

Dec 02, 20114 mins
FacebookLinkedInSocial Networking Apps

Had enough of social networking? blogger Mark Gibbs offers up one way to end it all.

Sometimes the whirl of social networking just gets to be too much.

Are there scores of updates from your mangy collection of “Friends” (including your weird uncle who used to … oh, never mind) every time you log into Facebook, while on Twitter you find hundreds of tweets from people you barely know? Do your LinkedIn connections feel pointless?


Well, if any of this sounds familiar, you can call me “Dr. Mark,” because I have the cure for your social angst: The Web 2.0 Suicide Machine.

Yep, using the Web 2.0 Suicide Machine–and without the use of pills, needles, guns, or driving a car off of a cliff while being chased by dozens of police cars after blowing up a gas tanker–you can shuffle off the social coil and kill off your accounts on Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace, and Twitter.

And it won’t just be painless, it will also be fast. (The service should take under an hour to do away with all of your accounts, as opposed to something like nine and a half hours to do the same thing manually).

So, other than curing the overwhelming irritation and ennui that social media can foster by completely deleting your social media presence, why would you want to use the Web 2.0 Suicide Machine? Amongst the reasons I’ve come up with there’s tidying up from having multiple accounts on a single social networking platform, and trying to do a reset on a corporate social media presence.

Just remember that if you’re trying to truly purge the Intertubes of things you’ve posted (out of embarrassment or guilt, whatever) the chances are poor that you’ll succeed. Why? Because once things become digital they tend to multiply far and wide and the Wayback Machine casts a wide net on the ‘Net.

Interestingly, Facebook’s management was not at all amused by the Web 2.0 Suicide Machine and in January last year sent the service a “cease and desist” letter.

The letter was very stern and moralistic and contended that the service violates Facebook’s Statement of Rights and Responsibilities which, given Facebook’s recent slap upside the head by the FTC over their unethical behavior, is delightfully ironic.

The Web 2.0 Suicide Machine FAQ (accessed via a popup from the home page) is informative about how the service works and answers questions like once you’ve started the process can it be stopped? (Answer: Nope.) It’s also entertaining:

Why do we think the web2.0 suicide machine is not unethical?

Everyone should have the right to disconnect. Seamless connectivity and rich social experience offered by web2.0 companies are the very antithesis of human freedom. Users are [entrapped] in a high resolution panoptic prison without walls, accessible from anywhere in the world. We do have an healthy amount of paranoia to think that everyone should have the right to quit her 2.0-ified life by the help of [automated] machines. Facebook and Co. are going to hold all your [information] and pictures on their servers forever! We still hope that by removing your contact details and friend connections one-by-one, your data is being cached out from their backup servers. This can happen after days, weeks, months or even years. So merely deactivating the account is just not enough!

What shall I do after I’ve killed myself with the web2.0 suicide machine?

Try calling some friends, take a walk in a park or buy a bottle of wine and start enjoying your real life again. Some Social Suiciders reported that their lives has improved by an approximate average of 25%. Don’t worry, if you feel empty right after you committed suicide. This is a normal reaction which will slowly fade away within the first 24-72 hours.

Even better: The only attention the people behind Web 2.0 Suicide Machine, which is based in the Netherlands, appear to have paid to Facebook’s letter was to post it on their site and then ignore it.

So, what do you think of the Web 2.0 Suicide Machine? Would or will you use it?

Personally, I’ve not yet opted for social suicide; you can find me on Twitter as @quistuipater, on Facebook I’m also “quistuipater,” and on LinkedIn I’m “Mark Gibbs.”