NPR logo

Web 2.0 Suicide Machine: Erase Your Virtual Life

  • Download
  • <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Web 2.0 Suicide Machine: Erase Your Virtual Life

Digital Life

Web 2.0 Suicide Machine: Erase Your Virtual Life

  • Download
  • <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript


Many of us these days spend time online at social networking sites - Facebook, say, or MySpace, or LinkedIn. And if you use those sites, you know how easy it is to happily fritter away hours in the Twitter-verse or some other online community. But what happens if you get sick of all those messages on your Facebook wall? Well, the brains behind a Web site called web2.0suicidemachine offer this encouragement to end it all, virtually.

Unidentified Man: It doesn't make your life better. You always think you're missing something. And above all, it makes you more stupid.

KELLY: Gordan Savicic is the CEO, which he says stands for chief euthanasia officer, of He joins us on the phone from Vienna. And tell me, the idea here is what? To abandon your virtual life so you can get your actual life back?

Mr. GORDAN SAVICIC (Web 2.0 Suicide Machine): Well, that was certainly one of our intentions. Basically, if we try to remove as much content as possible, we change the profile picture and the password so you can't log in anymore.

KELLY: So what happens? If I were to go log in to

Mr. SAVICIC: Mm-hmm.

KELLY: ...what do I see? How does it work?

Mr. SAVICIC: What happens is you click commit, and then....

KELLY: You click commit. Uh-huh.

Mr. SAVICIC: Yeah, yeah. There you see, basically, a remote desktop session, so you see how - what browser is being started. And then depending on the service you chose, you will see that the machine logs into your account. You see your friend list, and then basically the machine starts, based on our script, to remove the friend connections of everyone or in case of Twitter, we remove the followers and the people you follow, changes your profile picture, changes your password. And finally logs out.

KELLY: So, one by one deleting your friends online�


KELLY: �you watch them disappear.

Mr. SAVICIC: Yeah. You can take time and relax in front of the computer and see how your 2.0 life is passing away.

KELLY: What happens if you change your mind, halfway through?

Mr. SAVICIC: Hmm. That's a problem.

(Soundbite of laughter)

KELLY: That's a problem.

Mr. SAVICIC: Because we can't stop it, also, in the process.

KELLY: Well, have you had a lot of interest? How many people have signed up?

Mr. SAVICIC: We have around 900 users, and since last Sunday, Facebook blocked our service.

KELLY: Facebook has blocked your service.

Ms. SAVICIC: They basically didn't like the idea that we are unfriending other people's accounts. And we still have to decide how we react on that.

KELLY: That's Gordan Savicic from, which will help you commit social media suicide. It's the idea of a group called Modern, that's a bunch of artists, designers, and programmers based in Rotterdam. Facebook released a statement earlier this week saying Suicide Machine violates their rules of user interaction. The company says it is, quote, �currently investigating and considering whether to take further action.�

Copyright © 2010 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.