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Saturday, 22 May 2010

Quit Facebook Day: May 31

“Facebook page that led to Pakistani ban removed,” said the latest from Associated Press (read it at Yahoo! News) this morning. If through some hurriedly viewed news on TV you got the impression that Facebook took down the page, apologized or retracted, then please be corrected: “Facebook said Friday it has not taken any action on the page,” the Associated Press tells us. "So it was possible the creator took it down Friday because the page had served its purpose.”

This may not be the end of troubles for Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook. May 31 has already been declared "Quit Facebook Day". No, not by Jamaat-i-Islami (nor by Imran Khan neither). Quite unrelated to the recent controversy over the hate festival, a website has been set up to explain why Facebook may be risky not only for you personally but also for the future of humanity:
"For us it comes down to two things: fair choices and best intentions. In our view, Facebook doesn't do a good job in either department... For a lot of people, quitting Facebook revolves around privacy... but we also think the privacy issue is just the symptom of a larger set of issues. The cumulative effects of what Facebook does now will not play out well in the future, and we care deeply about the future of the web as an open, safe and human place. We just can't see Facebook's current direction being aligned with any positive future for the web, so we're leaving.”
12,677 people have joined the Quit Facebook Day Campaign by "committing" to quit it on May 31 on the website (there were 12,666 when I started writing this post about 15 minutes ago, so the number is increasing by the minute).

This is not even among the bigger troubles that have started surrounding the CEO of Facebook during the recent weeks. Here are some randomly selected headlines to give you an idea (embedded links take you to details):
  1. Facebook CEO’s latest woe: accusations of securities fraud
  2. The Social Network Depicts Facebook CEO As 'Sex Maniac'
  3. Facebook Could Predict When Your Relationship Will End
  4. Facebook Privacy Issues Spark Internal Disagreement, Challenges To CEO
  5. Facebook Alternatives: Other Secure Social Networks You Could Switch To
  6. As Facebook Takes a Beating, a Brutal Movie Is Set to Make Things Much Worse”
  7. 'Social Network' script: A meaner take on Facebook
Some of these things are tough. Nick Summers on the blog of Newsweek (listed as #6 here) describes a recent Q&A session between a Facebook VP and readers at nytimes.com as "insincere at best and Orwellian at worst" and foresees even worse consequences when the movie gets released on October 1, portraying Zuckerberg as "a borderline autistic, entirely ruthless conniver." Other problems faced by him since April 21 and listed in this article include “a letter of concern from four U.S. senators, a filing with the Federal Trade Commission by 15 privacy groups, grave op-eds from the influential people at TechPresident, Wired, Thomas Baekdal, GigaOM, and elsewhere, helpful information to make sense of Facebook's evolution, including a timeline from the Electronic Frontier Foundation and a clever infographic from an IBM researcher, and the launch of an idealistic NYU startup, Diaspora.”

Arguably, the role of Facebook in the recent controversial cartoon campaign was also different from YouTube and Wikipedia — and hence the general resentment among Muslims is mainly directed against Facebook and not so much against the other two websites that got banned in Pakistan in this context. 

If the conclusion on which Muslim users of Facebook have arrived is similar to what the webmasters of Quit Facebook Day are stating on their website (“We also don't think Facebook has much respect for you...”), one wonders how it would seem if millions of these Muslims also join the campaign and unanimously quit Facebook on May 31 — especially if they seal their lips about the offensive cartoons, blasphemy and all other matters at least until then and unanimously start chanting, “Just like the webmasters of Quite Facebook Day, we just can't see Facebook's current direction being aligned with any positive future for the web, so we're leaving. Nothing more to say (at least till May 31)!”

Such a thing would require extraordinary self-control, discipline and goodwill. Faith has produced such qualities on certain occasions but even if Muslims miss the opportunity, other problems surrounding Mr. Mark Zuckerberg are not pointing towards a very bright future either. Remember what James Bond says to the bad guy in The Living Daylights? “If the Russians don't get you, the Americans will!”

10 comments:

Thinking said...

hmmm....it is better to leave the company who dont care about my emotions or believes...

There is nothing in this world more than my dignity or honor...or my love of my believe and faith...

Thank you Shafique Sahib...for guiding us through the whole matter...

Rehan Damani said...

I wonder why facebook is not deleting the page? Isn't it clearly the "Abuse" against which many of us have done "Report Abuse"? This shows our reports doesn't matter to facebook. I agree that facebook doesn't respect us. Perhaps, freedom of speech should always be balanced with respect to others. If West agrees that everyone can have their own point of view then why doesn't it agree that everyone's point of view should be respected? This is what West must undertand.

Connie said...

I was a reluctant fb person to begin with and after all this good research by you and ReeBz, I don't know why I never did my own research and said "No Thanx" to begin with.

With the "Honor Prophet Muhammad" opportunity, I'd like to support this strong positive effort until the "Quit Facebook Day" and then unless something huge would show otherwise, many of us probably have not choice but to quit.

Connie L. Nash said...

The truth is I am overwhelmed and impressed by all the research and work. Also, am not able to get into emails nor search engine without much difficulty today. So I will keep you each in heart, mind and prayers and let things quiet on my end. Hope to come by next week before family trip for more leading from each of you. Thanx for all you are doing and including me.

Akhtar Wasim Dar said...

In my most humble opinion, I feel any intellectual response to this like Sayed Ahmed Khan's will also not be sufficient as intellectual arguments in these matters have spiral effect. Boycotting and Quitting is the option I would not go for either. Quitting means, vacating and providing the space for that which we consider incorrect. We must not retaliate, we must not show any response to this, as this is not going to help. We must fill our space with the beauty, righteousness and goodness we stand for, our civilization and our culture stands for, our Prophet and our religion stands for.

Social spaces are not like trade unions, as here, we have to live along with others with divergent views, we have to show compassion, even if others are not showing it. In the final analysis if we think we can diminish darkness by creating more darkness than we know this will not happen. More and more light is the only answer to that. Our painting the world with beautiful colors is my answer to this. I want to paint my colors vividly, I want to make space available to me as beautiful as possible. I want to overpower others with my beautiful actions. This might sound idealist, and idealist I am and I want to make my world the ideal place to live in, for that I can ignore the ugly and become myself the change that I want to see the others to follow.

Khurram Ali Shafique said...

Thinking, Rehan, Connie Nash and Akhtar Sahib, thanks.

For me, an added reason for quitting FB is that after reading the information provided on Quit Facebook Day Website and some latest news, I feel that using Facebook may compromise not only my own privacy but also of my friends and family :)

Otherwise I share most of the views you have expressed here.

ReeBz said...

Sir Akhter,
I respect your opinion and your choice to not to quit face book, but your comment made me wonder something.

//Our painting the world with beautiful colors is my answer to this.//

Well, this is quite bookish.Everyone here with a peaceful heart and mind wishes for same, and takes step to make this world a beautiful ideal place.
you donot want to quit facebook as you donot want those "evil powers" to give a ground, so you are opting to stay at FB. well with due respect tell me, did your presence at FB matter earlier?Did you manage to paint FB(world) with beautiful colours by staying there?Could you step them to not to insult our most respected religious and spiritual personalities?
Answer to all is "NO".so you think we can make this world beautiful by staying silent and by bearing all whatever anyone does with us?
....??

Akhtar Wasim Dar said...

ReeBz
Actually it’s not the FB that matters to me it’s the approach that I was talking about. However I would like to say something on your remark “BOOKISH”! I have tried to live my life according to the book, book matters to me the most, when everything fails book helps me, this might also sound bookish but that means, the realities of our lives are different than what is taught in books, not for me. My greatest inspirations and on those inspiration greatest realities depend on my books. My being a Muslim is based on my faith on MY BOOK.

Thinking said...

hmmm....Areeba Deari....

I am with you on your Quit Facebook league.

But we can not obtrude or impose our views or decisions on anyone.

While Dar Sahib...has explained himself well that what is his approach which is on one hand is another way to give a hard knock on people's door who wanted to shut us up.

Because...I know he has the courage to do so...

He knows how to tackle and captivate these kind of people by words...and that's his speciality.

While...I am not good in arguing or putting forward any kind of research work against Facebook's recent activities... I decided to simply leave it.

So...I think...we all are...one way or other...striving for a noble cause.

Some are ready to engage the oponents while few are decided to simply leave the place.

hmmm....I hope deari you will understand and respect such choices.

Regards !

ReeBz said...

Yes i have understood :)
i was of course not forcing or imposing my views.everyone has right to follow his choices :)
i just wanted some clarifications, to remove my own misconceptions of course :)