Facebook blocks "Web 2.0 Suicide Machine," now a cease-and-desist reported


Boing Boing reader John says,

The folks at the Web 2.0 Suicide Machine are looking for feedback on how to respond to a recent cease & desist letter. While they reside in the Netherlands, and cease & desist letters are not equivalent to litigation and in fact do not always have a legal leg to stand on, it still seems important to consider the implications. This comes after suicidemachine.org's IP was blocked by Facebook. Similar service/software art Seppukoo, who were similarly issued a cease & desist and have issued this response.

From the nettime announcement by Florian Cramer:

"On behalf of Facebook, the law firm Perkins Coie has sent a Cease and Desist letter to Mike van Gaasbeek from WORM , the Rotterdam-based experimental arts center of which MODDR_labs , creators of the Web 2.0 Suicide Machine , are a part of.

Suggestions for competent legal defendants for WORM/MODDR would be welcome. As a non-profit organization with roots in improvised and electronic music and avant-garde filmmaking, WORM encounters this situation for the first time. (Other media arts institutions wouldn't have legal defense strategies ready in their desk drawers either.)"

BB reader John asks, "Can either of these services be subjected to the contracts that bind users and developers who use the Connect API from scraping data?"

More about the Suicide Machine, and Facebook's efforts to block it: NPR, WSJ.


  1. Just tell the lawyers that people don’t care about privacy any more (Zuckerberg said so himself!) so you are going to feel free to do what you want with FB’s data, just like FB itself feels free to do what it wants with user data.

  2. I don’t know if they can help, but Dutch ONG ‘Bits of Freedom’ might be able to offer some advice?


    “Bits of Freedom is the Dutch digital rights organization, focusing on privacy and communications freedom in the digital age. Bits of Freedom strives to influence legislation and self-regulation, on a national and also on a European level. Bits of Freedom is one of the founders and a member of European Digital Rights (EDRi).”

    I have just sent an email to one of the guys I know in there, but I don’t speak Dutch, so there may be more info in the website which could be useful.

  3. from: Facebook facebook@facebookmail.com
    to: Eris
    date: Thu, Dec 31, 2009 at 12:57 AM
    subject: Desactivaste a tua conta do Facebook

    Olá Eris,
    Desactivou a sua conta de Facebook. Pode voltar reactivar a sua conta a qualquer altura fazendo o login no Facebook usando o seu antigo utilizador e password. Também poderá utilizar o site como fazia antes.
    A equipa do FacebookRegista-te no Facebook e começa a conhecer pessoas
    Para reactivar, siga a ligação em baixo:

  4. This is done at the user’s request, for individual users. It’s not like this is large scale scraping. FB should suck it up and deal.

    I like ju2tin’s idea.

  5. “leaving a status message that you’ve comitted suicide”

    bit daft… people might think you really have committed suicide…

    why not just say you’ve decided to get a real life…

  6. Why didn’t FB send me a C&D letter when I deleted my account? You can do that, you know. You don’t have to ‘commit suicide’.

    1. The point is to render their data as useless as possible.

      Deleting your account mill make you disappear from search listings…. but all your info is still on their servers. All your posts and messages are still on your friend’s walls etc. Commiting Facebook suicide does not remedy this problem, but it is a loud, public way of giving the finger to FB. Instead of your pretty face subtly vanishing from your friends’ friends list, they will know that you made the explicit decision to leave.

      I just changed all my info to complete garbage instead :)

    2. I don’t know that one can truly delete a facebook account. Back when mySpace was king, a friend got me to make a FB acct, too. I never used it, so after a few months, I deleted it. Later, I was offline for a while. When I returned, there were hundreds of fb friend requests, and they keep coming in, even from people who don’t have my email nor were myspace friends (i.e. they didn’t auto-friend me from their email/MS contact lists.) Apparently, I’m still on there and still searchable.

      So, screw you, Facebook.

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