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BizReport : Social Marketing : May 24, 2010

Facebook users consider quitting, Zuckerberg responds

More reports and stories of Facebook desertion are circulating around the blogosphere, including the results of a survey by I.T. security company, Sophos, who found the vast majority have quitting Facebook on their minds. Privacy is the main driver behind thoughts of desertion and today Mark Zuckerberg says "I hear you" and promises to make the protection of privacy painless.

by Helen Leggatt

Just a week or so ago Facebook was deserted by some big online names, such as Matt Cutts and Peter Rojas, and the topic has refused to go away.

Enter Sophos' survey of just over 1,500 Facebook users. It found that a whopping 60% of respondents were "possibly" or "highly likely" to quit Facebook over privacy concerns.

Whether or not people will actually remove themselves from the world's largest social networking arena is yet to be seen. Graham Cluley, a senior technology consultant at Sophos, doesn't think Facebook will become a ghost-town any day soon.

"A mass exodus from Facebook seems unlikely, but Facebook members are clearly getting more interested in knowing precisely who can view their data," he wrote in a recent blog post.

"With this survey showing that only 24% of users aren't thinking about quitting, Facebook will need to make sure further changes to the privacy policy are clear, concise and in the interest of making it easier for members to know exactly who has access to whatever they chose to upload."

The lack of control that many Facebook users feel over their privacy is what is driving them to quit. Many are frustrated at how complicated it is to understand privacy levels or adjust privacy settings to their own preferences.

However, things could be about to change. Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg today publically announced, via a letter to the Washington Post, that the feedback from Facebook users regarding their privacy concerns has been heard and that the privacy process will be revised.

"We have heard the feedback. There needs to be a simpler way to control your information. In the coming weeks, we will add privacy controls that are much simpler to use," he wrote.

"We will also give you an easy way to turn off all third-party services. We are working hard to make these changes available as soon as possible."

Tags: Facebook, privacy concerns, social networking

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  • Sandy F

    uh... I know the Zman is a pretty tough guy but did he really say promises to make the protection of privacy *less painless* or was that a slip of the fingertip by your lead in writer?

    You do know "less painless" means the same as more painful, don't you?

  • Helen Leggatt

    A painful slip - now corrected. Thanks for spotting that!



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