TORONTO - "Quit Facebook" was a trending topic on Twitter on Monday as tens of thousands of users claimed they were ready to abandon the popular social networking site over privacy concerns.
But plenty more of the site's more than 400 million users aren't going anywhere, even if they acknowledge the concerns being raised by the two Toronto men behind Quit Facebook Day.
"Absolutely not," said Randy Matheson, a social engagement specialist at Delvinia Interactive, when asked if he was pulling his profile.
"I seriously don't think very many people are going to quit Facebook. But the primary thing is that people become aware of how much of their stuff is private and how much of their content that's being put up there (is private).
"I think people are too lazy to read terms and conditions and a bit too lazy to figure out what the privacy settings actually are — and I think I would probably put myself in that camp too."
Most of the "Quit Facebook" chatter on Twitter was about how users had no intention of participating in the campaign.
"It's Quit Facebook Day," tweeted the user ExpertParalegal. "Right. I'm not quitting coffee either."
"It might be 'Quit Facebook Day' but there's no way I'm quitting," wrote DanNSimms, "especially as I like seeing how fat everyone's got since they left school."
Co-creator Matthew Milan said he never expected the idea would go viral and put a dent in Facebook's membership numbers, which include 15 million Canadians. But he feels the process was a success, since it got people talking about the site's privacy policies and the consequences of putting personal info online.
"I'm not really interested in getting people to quit every online service out there — I'm actually a very heavy consumer of social media myself — and I certainly don't think people should be hiding away in caves and not engaging," he said in an interview Monday, as the number of users pledging to opt-out of Facebook surpassed 30,000.
"I just think they should be asking for what they feel is fair and respectable from organizations they give their data to."
Among those who signed off for good was Johnny Hockin, a host and segment producer for MTV Canada. Or so he thought.
It turns out he made a common mistake and actually deactivated his account rather than deleting it. While the deactivate option is relatively easy to find in the account settings section, truly deleting an account is a bit trickier. The link to permanently remove an account from Facebook can be found in the help section of the site.
After realizing he only deactivated his account, Hockin said he would keep his Facebook profile in limbo for now, in case he changes his mind about going offline.
But he said it wasn't a rash decision to quit Facebook, and he'd been considering it for months.
"I've been getting more and more annoyed at Facebook and the fact that this event was here sort of pushed me over the edge, because I do support their cause," he said.
"I think it's probably pretty niche still but there is a positive response I've heard to the idea of quitting. I think some people have had enough of that particular social network — although others are still very happy with it."
As for Milan, he happily deleted his account as planned and said he'll miss little about Facebook.
"I didn't feel any remorse, or regret, or 'Oh my gosh, I have to go back and check it,'" he said.
"I don't feel any pull to go back personally, but I realize that's not going to be what it's like for a lot of people."
Facebook would not say how many users deleted their profiles on Monday.
Link to permanently delete your Facebook account:http://bit.ly/cZJ51k