Was QuitFacebookDay a Failure?

Lora Bentley

Amid all the ruckus surrounding the recent changes to Facebook's privacy controls, the folks at QuitFacebookDay.com tried to rally the troops who still care about the privacy of their information to deactivate or delete their Facebook accounts on the same day - to send a statement of solidarity to the social-networking giant.

 

According to reports, only 31,000 or so of the 35,007 who committed to quit Facebook Monday, May 31, actually did. And even if all 35,007 users who signed the petition had quit in a single day, the blip barely would have registered on Facebook's radar screen, considering it has more than 450 million users

 

So most of the tech media, including The Register, is calling the event a flop. In fact, research and consulting firm Vision Critical called the day a bust before it even happened. In a press release announcing new research, the firm said:

Despite Facebook users' increasing unease about their privacy on the popular social network and recent dire warnings in the technology media, users are in fact not flocking to delete their Facebook accounts.

Instead, research revealed that only 11 percent of U.S. Facebook users were aware of QuitFacebookDay.com, and only 22 percent of those who were aware planned to quit.

 

That said, 81 percent of respondents to the Vision Critical survey said they are using Facebook more carefully than they once did, and 76 percent said they do not share as much information on Facebook as they used to. And that change in behavior, according to PCWorld.com's Tom Spring, is why the "failed movement" wasn't really a failure at all.

 


Spring writes:

The small-stakes game of poker with Facebook, which crystallized with Quit Facebook Day, likely did push Facebook's CEO Mark Zuckerberg to address publicly its new privacy policies and make changes...Will Facebook ever learn from its privacy missteps, or will its users have to rise up ... again?

 

I think the point is, this time they didn't really rise up. But when they do, Facebook will surely listen.



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