'Quit Facebook' protest day flops
Just over 30,000 of Facebook's almost 500 million users deleted their account in protest over security concerns
A day of planned protests against the social networking site Facebook appeared to flop after just over 30,000 of the site's 500 million users deleted their Facebook accounts.
Despite thousands of people pledging to delete their Facebook accounts, it is thought that only around 33,000 people pressed the button, according to news agency AFP.
Mark Zuckerberg, founder and chief executive of Facebook, last week rolled out a new simplified "privacy dashboard" to make it easier for people to lock down their personal information with a single click.
He said that any setting applied to Facebook accounts would also be applied retrospectively, and that any new features or elements added to the Facebook site would automatically default to that privacy setting.
The changes were prompted in part by growing criticism from Facebook users who were concerned that some personal details were being shared with other users and third parties without their explicit knowledge or consent.
The anonymous organisers of the Quit Facebook protest group said in a note on their website that although Facebook gave users a choice about how to manage their data, they weren't "fair choices" and Facebook made it "damn difficult for the average user to understand or manage this".
Zuckerberg acknowledged that the system of granular settings had been too complex and said the changes would make it easier for people to control what information they shared.
However, some critics still complain that the changes have not gone far enough, and that profiles should be set to private by default, with people deciding to opt-in to sharing aspects of that data on a case-by-case basis.
Facebook has almost 500 million viewers worldwide. Microsoft bought a 1.6pc stake in the social networking site in 2007 for $240m.