Since the latest changes to its privacy controls, Facebook has faced serious criticism from industry watchers and users.

Among the site’s biggest critics are Canadian-based Web architects, Joseph Dee and Matthew Milan. They created in protest, and have over 15,000 users committed to leaving their Facebook accounts behind on May 31.

On their Web site organizers claim, “Facebook gives you choices about how to manage your data, but they aren’t fair choices, and while the onus is on the individual to manage these choices, Facebook makes it […] difficult for the average user to understand or manage this.”

“I’m in communications so it’s relevant to my career,” says Esther Akutekha, a publicist at Wahida Clark Publishing via e-mail. “However personally I’m no longer a huge fan. I don’t check it as much as when it first came out, or use many of the features but I’ve considered deleting it all together.”?

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg responded to the criticism in a Washington Post column May 24, writing, “Sometimes we grow too fast and after listening to recent concerns, we’re responding.”

He announced that the social networking Web site would release simplified privacy controls on May 26.

While that may be enough to address the privacy concerns of many users, Dee and Milan stress a larger concern – the “future of the Web as an open, safe, and human place.”


Melissa Jones

Special to the AFRO