ever thought about ending it all? Online, that is. Thousands of people are trying to do just that. They are signing up to services such as suicidemachine.org, a website that offers to delete social networking accounts like Facebook for free and at the click of a button.
The site allows you to watch as your virtual friendships are broken, your profiles dismantled and, as far as possible, your online existence is erased.
Since it was set up last year, suicide machine has been overwhelmed by demand. Thousands have used it, while 15,000 are on a waiting list.
Now a legal battle has broken out over people's ability to "kill" themselves off. Earlier this month Facebook blocked suicide machine's service, sending the owners a cease-and-desist notice threatening to take further action against the site.
Yesterday, suicide machine's founders said they had discovered ways around the blocks.
"We're not tricking anyone," said Gordan Savecic, dubbed the "chief euthanasia officer" of suicide machine. "Anyone who enters their (Facebook) log-in data with us is quite aware of what they are doing."
Suicide machine, based in Rotterdam, can delete people's accounts on Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and Linkedin. So far, only Facebook has taken a stand against the service. (© The Times, London)