Today I stumbled upon a very interesting post about high-profile individuals leaving Facebook en masse. According to ReadWriteWeb, tech guru Leo Laporte announced he has closed his Facebook account. He’s also gone one step further and donated cash to Diaspora, an alternative social network to Facebook (more on Diaspora on RWW here).
Laporte’s departure from the world’s biggest social network comes on the heels of a public Facebook flogging from entrepreneur Jason Calacanis. Calacanis posted a blog entry that slammed Facebook, calling it a “monster.” He writes:
Over the past month, Mark Zuckerberg, the hottest new card player in town, has overplayed his hand. Facebook is officially “out,” as in uncool, amongst partners, parents and pundits all coming to the realization that Zuckerberg and his company are–simply put–not trustworthy.
Calacanis advocates for an open social network and encourages users to ditch Facebook, and publicly lashes out at Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg:
Zuckerberg represents the best and worst aspects of entrepreneurship. His drive, skill and fearlessness are only matched by his long record–recorded in lawsuit after lawsuit–of backstabbing, stealing and cheating.
Despite the long kill piece, RWW points out Calacanis himself has not yet canceled his own Facebook account.
There are more people also joining the ranks of The Great Facebook Departure; Peter Rojas, co-founder of Engadget and Gizmodo also said he was closing his Facebook account. Making the announcement on Twitter, Rojas said “The issue is that users should have real control over what is shared, that’s all. FB keeps taking that away.”
In addition to Rojas, a number of Google engineers left Facebook after the company’s f8 conference. As TechCrunch reports, the head of the webspam team at Google, Matt Cutts, has not technically left but deactivated his Facebook account.
Despite a few high-profile exits, Facebook continues to grow. The site says it has 400 million registered members and 50 percent of the active users log in to the site every day.
Deactivating or deleting your Facebook account is a fairly drastic step for a self-promoter to take, and it’s not clear where these people were when OpenID and the movement for distributed social networking had their biggest pushes over the last several years. But now the chorus of Facebook critics is getting very loud.
RWW also offers a look into what a Facebook alternative could look like (read it here).
What do you think? Have Facebook’s privacy issues caused you to close your account?