Facebook About-face: Group Protest Gets Quick Response.

So having the youngest leadership ever for an $11 billion company, Facebook does respond quickly to problems. Maybe that’s just coincidence, but today is the second time I’ve seen them switch things very quickly in response to complaints.

Earlier this week Maria Aspan of the New York Times wrote a column on how Facebook keeps personal data forever. I posted it here as Digital Immortality. Today she reports Quitting Facebook Gets Easier.

On Monday, Facebook modified its help pages to tell people that if they wanted to remove their accounts entirely, they can direct the company by e-mail to have it done. But on Tuesday, representatives of Facebook stopped short of saying the company would introduce a one-step delete account option.

This is the second time I’ve noticed Facebook responding to complaints. A couple of years ago they changed the way they made some comments public, which "creeped out" a bunch of young users who suddenly saw things they thought were private being visible to others. I heard it first from my youngest daughter, who was then a freshman in college. It was front page on our local newspaper the next day. Facebook changed it back almost on the following day.

In this second case, it seemed like a ground swell:

As The New York Times reported on Monday, some Facebook users who wished to close their accounts had been unable to do so, even after contacting Facebook’s customer service representatives. Many departing users, who could spend weeks or months trying to erase their accounts without success, turned to unofficial guides like the Facebook users group “How to permanently delete your Facebook account.”

Since Monday, almost 3,000 people have joined the group, which counted more than 7,000 members on Tuesday evening and had been growing by the hour.

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