Commit web suicide & win points as a Zombie – Yipeee

Claire Stokoe

Committing Web 2.0 suicide is now as easy as a poke on Facebook thanks to the new digital suicide machines, "Gulp".

The two machines that allow people to commit virtual suicide are 'Web 2.0 suicide machine' and the Japanese 'Seppukoo, no doubt there are more, but we will only cover these two. Before we look into the reasons why Facebook has banned these applications, lets look at what the systems offer. They basically give social networkers the ability remove their online presence, letting then delete your social-networking profiles not accounts, kill off their virtual friends and wipe clean their Web2.0 alter ego.

If you are a visual person like me, it's a bit like setting this loose in your front room.


fireshot-capture-1703-wipe-the-slate-clean-for-2010-commit-web-2_0-suicide-www_techcrunch_com_2009_12_31_web-2-0-suicideThe brain child of the murderous machine 'Web 2.0 suicide' is the Rotterdam-based who describe themselves as your ‘unfriendly’ neighbourhood medialab. They are pretty cuddly though and are the genius people behind drag and drop CMS. The machine can access your online profiles of Twitter - Linkedin - Myspace and Facebook, although Facebook have now blocked the i.p of the application after 500 users signed out forever and 50,000 people were unfriended. (Facebook, dem didn't like that one little bit)


So how does it work? (in the happy words of moddr)

The machine consists of a tweaked Linux server running apache2 with python modules installed. Selenium RC Control is used to automatically launch and kill browser sessions. This all driven by a single python/cgi script with some additional self-written python libraries.

Each user can watch her suicide action in real-time via a VNC remote desktop session, displayed on our website via an flash applet rendered live into the client's webbrowser. We are also running some customized bash scripts plus MySQL in the background for logging and debugging, jquery/PHP for the website and a modified version of the great FlashlightVNC application built in Flex. Web2.0 Suicide Machine consists of roughly 2500 lines of self-written code.

So why would someone want to commit Web 2.0 suicide? - this from moddr video explains why (in a odd humoured way)

web 2.0 suicide machine promotion from moddr_ on Vimeo.

seppukooSeppukoo is based on the Seppuku that restores samurai's honor as a warrior, the application deals with "the liberation of the digital body from any identity constriction in order to help people discover what happens after their virtual life and to rediscover the importance of being anyone, instead of pretending to be someone."


They also offer you a bizarre memorial space were you can life an afterlife with other friends who have committed suicide, its a bit like lovely bones, without the brutal murderer and weird 'day of the dead' backgrounds.

I love this users "last words"


You also gain points for committing suicide and erm, socialising when dead. But doesn't that mean your on a social network? it's all very confusing. Seppukoo are really creating the ultimate network of people who fancy putting two fingers up at the establishment, and say that your true friends are the ones you make on Seppukoo, basically Zombies.



Facebook said that the suicide sites were  in violation of Facebook rules.

"Facebook provides the ability for people who no longer want to use the site to either deactivate their account or delete it completely," Facebook said.

"Web 2.0 Suicide Machine collects login credentials, which is a violation of our Statement of Rights and Responsibilities (SRR)," it said.

"We've blocked the site's access to Facebook as is our policy for sites that violate our SRR," Facebook said. "We're currently investigating and considering whether to take further action."

Facebook, which claims more than 300 million users, also said it had sent "a cease-and-desist letter for similarly violating our policies".

Here is what the creators of Web 2.0 suicide machine said with regards to their system being ethical.

Why do we think the web2.0 suicide machine is not unethical?

Everyone should have the right to disconnect. Seamless connectivity and rich social experience offered by web2.0 companies are the very antithesis of human freedom. Users are entraped in a high resolution panoptic prison without walls, accessible from anywhere in the world. We do have an healthy amount of paranoia to think that everyone should have the right to quit her 2.0-ified life by the help of automatized machines. Facebook and Co. are going to hold all your informations and pictures on their servers forever! We still hope that by removing your contact details and friend connections one-by-one, your data is being cached out from their backup servers. This can happen after days, weeks, months or even years. So merely deactivating the account is just not enough!

Facebook also sent a letter to the owners of Seppukoo

Facebook, which claims more than 300 million users, also said it had sent "a cease-and-desist letter for similarly violating our policies".

You can read the full letter by clicking on the image or here


This is the response from Seppukoo to Facebook

"Facebook cannot order the erasure of data that does not belong to it, acting against the free will of the owners of such data. This is not protection of privacy, but rather a violation of the free will of citizens that can decide freely and for themselves how to arrange their personal sphere."


Now whether of not you think the application is a good idea and whether or not you agree with it, surely Facebook shouldn't have the right to deny this application when it is carrying out an instruction by the Facebook account holder.

What scares me, is the idea of having your username and password skimmed and someone deleting your profile forever from any of your networks? i mean really... scary.

What does everyone else think?

  • Does it matter?
  • Is it all bull?
  • Will you commit suicide in 2010?
  • I slipped on the ice this morning so everything sucks

Also, maybe this is the answer, a coffin with web access.. whew! thank God!


PS: Web 2.0 suicide have now added a count down clock showing when they have to get back to Facebook - lol brilliant


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