Social Networks: Joining Is Easy, Canceling Isn’t

Could the party be over for the big social networks such as Facebook, MySpace and Bebo? Last month it emerged Facebook had suffered a 5% drop in members since December, according to Nielsen Online, the web analyst. And in the case of Bebo, which was bought last week by AOL for £425m [nearly $1 billion], this drop was by 25%. [Times Online]

I would bet that social networking is far from dead – but signs of social networking backlash are beginning to appear.

One example: Let’s say you find yourself in the news and your pictures begin popping up on blogs, late night TV shows and the covers of major national newspapers. This was an all too real situation for Ashley Dupre, so how do you protect yourself in today’s tech-obsessed climate?

Privacy settings are the first (and obvious) choice, but for those who need to quickly unsubscribe from the social networking giants without leaving a paper trail of personal information and embarrassing content are in for a challenge. Once you’re in, it’s hard to leave – just like the Mafia! (Not really.)

The Times Online tells us why “joining the networking site is easy but closing down your potentially embarrassing account isn’t.”

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