Impress your friends. Disconnect yourself. You are more than your virtual identity. So says a site calling itself Seppukoo.com which allows you to check out of Facebook by assisting with your online suicide.
Following the age-old Samurai tradition of "Seppuku" or dying with honor, Seppukoo.com provides users with a virtual sword to fall upon to remove ones's identity from the world's largest social network.
Seppuku (aka, Hara-kari) originally reserved for Samurai soldiers was the belief in suicide rather than falling into the hands of one's enemies. In its original context, Seppuku was performed by plunging a sword into one's abdomen and moving it left to right in a slicing motion.
The site aims to poke fun at Facebook by offering its millions of users a glorious end, when they remove their profile and/or fan pages and replace it with a memorial page.
According to Rory Mullholland in his AFP Wire posting, "today the enemy is not other bands of noble warriors but corporate media who use viral marketing to make huge profits by connecting people across the globe."
"Seppukoo playfully attempts to subvert this mechanism by disconnecting people from each other and transforming the individual suicide experience into an exciting 'social' experience."
Seppukoo's position that Facebook is a heinous albatross beholden to corporate interests is an attempt by the site to distinguish itself as a new type of social network protecting privacy rights by not storing or sharing their users' data.
Apparently, using the social media tactic of viral marketing to promote itself is not something the site has a problem with. Its owners -- whose website says are an "imaginary art-group from Italy" -- told AFP by email that over 15,000 people have already done the dirty deed of dying on Facebook and over 350,000 other users have received an invite to follow suit. However Seppukoo has its work cut out for themselves if they think they can make a dent in Facebook's 350 million active followers.
Mark Zuckerberg did not reply when contacted by AFP to ask if he saw Seppukoo.com as a threat or if he planned to take any action to block it.
For those interested in initiating their own hari-kari, the process is easy, or as that refrain from the Movie "Mash" says: "Suicide is Painless." Here are the 'killer' steps...
- 1- Willing victims must first log in to seppukoo.com by typing in the same information they use to go on to their Facebook profile.
- 2- They then choose one of several memorial RIP page templates before writing their last words, which the site promises to send to all their Facebook friends when they have taken the final step.
- 3- Once the user has made that fatal final click, his or her Facebook profile is deactivated.
- 4- But in what might be seen as a bit of a cheat, virtual life goes on after the ritual suicide.It comes in the form of testimonials friends can write on the memorial page or by rising in the Seppukoo ranks by scoring points with every former Facebook friend who follows your lead and commits hara-kari as well.
- 5- The top scorer in the game is currently a blonde female who uses the name Simona Lodi and who passed into the post-Facebook netherworld on November 5, with the immortal last words, "piss off!" Lodi, as of this posting has accumulated 4914 points. Anyone that wants an awesome memorial page like Lodi can start the process here.
So for all those dissidents out there that are "mad as hell and can't take it anymore," I suggest you join the ranks of the walking dead at Seppukoo. And while in the real world, suicide is obviously a one-way trip, Seppukoo does make room for divine intervention, allowing users a chance at an earthly resurrection.
If withdrawal becomes a painful process, and you have determined leaving Facebook was a catastrophic mistake, all you have to do is log back into FB and your profile will instantly be restored - refuting the age-old belief that we only go around once!
UPDATE: December 29 - According to an LA Times report, the battle between social networking giant Facebook and Seppukoo.com
may spill into the courtroom over privacy violations, according to a
letter written by a Facebook lawyer.
The letter contended that
Seppukoo violated Facebook’s statement of rights and responsibilities,
which governs the website’s relationship with its users, and that it
must “cease and desist” from breaching the terms.When asked whether Seppukoo had any intention on tearing down the site,
Guy McMusker, art director of the group, replied in an e-mail:
UPDATE: January 5 - With all the controversy surrouding Seppukoo, it didn't take long for another 'Death to Facebook' site to emerge. A Dutch company, name Web 2.0 Suicide Machine surfaced in December to only be blocked by Facebook in January, according to a Guardian Report.
See you in on the graveyard shift!