Man Blames Facebook for AIDS, Among Other Claims

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While some users may huff and puff about the new Facebook privacy settings, one user in particular is so fed up that he wants to have his profile removed from Facebook all together. His method for going about this social media suicide mission? Getting kicked off.

Humorist Adam Clem found himself tired of Facebook’s prying eyes, noting an unnerving sensation upon realizing Facebook’s similarities to counter-terrorism work. His first strike against Facebook was updating his profile status to read “FACEBOOK HATES ISRAEL.”

Quite a bold statement indeed. Intended with humor or with a mere desire to earn a bad reputation, Clem is dabbling in some very hot water. The attention Clem could gain as a result of his little prank could bring down the wrath of law suits, fines or other citations. While it’s unlikely to go that far, Clem’s inflammatory statements could be taken with a certain seriousness.

With over 350 million users, it was rather difficult for Clem’s status update to stand out. So he upped the ante. A day after his first strike, Clem updated his status several more times, aiming at the Facebook CEO directly. Making even more bold statements, one of Clem’s status updates claims that “Facebook CEO Jeffery Zuckerberg stole the ‘Arbeit Macht Frei’ sign from the gates of Auschwitz, then installed it in the FB cafeteria.”

If those statements weren’t enough, Clem also wrote that Facebook created AIDS to eradicate black people, among other things. If Clem had been bold enough to make a direct claim to the true Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, I might actually be a little more upset at Clem’s actions.

While it’s evident that Adam is seeking ways to avoid severe legal consequences for his stunt, I still wonder if this the best way to go about the ridding of one’s Facebook profile. Granted, there are several privacy issues around the way Facebook handles the deletion of user profiles. It’s tricky to void your Facebook profile all together, and Facebook doesn’t like to give you up too easily. On top of this, Facebook has made changes to its privacy settings, making profile data public by default and offering a less transparent process around limiting access to user content.

But risking the possibility of legal troubles seems to be the least desirable option towards getting rid of your Facebook profile. Setting up so many red flags with the hopes of being removed from Facebook doesn’t seem worth the stigma of being antisemitic. Maybe that’s just me.

Nevertheless, Clem’s attempts to raise the alarms at Facebook remind us of his cause–ultimately alerting the world as to Facebook’s ability to know a great deal about us as individuals. Should Facebook ever decide to wield its power regarding its knowledgeable data base, it would have to be during a time of great acceptance on a consumer level. As Facebook tried to ease its users into such a relationship with its Beacon program, Facebook quickly recognized its limits in terms of what it can and cannot do with user data.

The subtleties in social networks’ applied knowledge about you as in individual, however, is something that remains controversial and a little bit creepy. What seems to be strictly business for the companies looking towards such monetization may be a personal intrusion for that individual. Finding a decent medium ground will be a difficult and ongoing task in the coming years, with social networks helping to balance several aspects of the relationship between businesses and consumers.

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