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To quit or not to quit

tech reviews Updated: May 26, 2010 01:41 IST
Mayank Austen Soofi

Is there a world beyond Facebook? Amid the brouhaha over the social networking site’s controversial privacy settings, the uneasy Internet socialites are looking to shift their loyalties to others. “I hate Facebook,” says best-selling author Fatima Bhutto. “The idea that this company owns everything you put on it, is ridiculous. I don’t know why it doesn’t scare more people.”

“I haven’t quit Facebook— yet,” says Rachna Dubey, a painter. “But I’ve started to feel insecure about whether my private info and pictures are being shared without my knowledge. So if something better comes up, I’m leaving.”

Despite its 400 million members, Facebook is now alarmed enough for its CEO Mark Zuckerberg to write a special op-ed for an American daily, saying, “Many people choose to make some information visible to everyone...We already offer controls to limit the visibility… we intend to make them even stronger.”

New websites such as Pip.io, nesocialweb.org and Elgg.org are offering alternatives.

On wikihow.com, there is a page on ‘How to quit Facebook”. The website quitfacebook.com, designed like a Facebook page, sarcastically gives options to ‘creep’, ‘stalk’ and ‘infect’. A site that celebrates May 31 as ‘Quit Facebook Day’ has already attracted 14956 “Committed Facebook Quitters.”