Protests

Rally to Encourage Facebook Users to Go Private Marches Through NYC and San Francisco Today

It's hard to get clicktivists to walktivate.
times sq go private Rally to Encourage Facebook Users to Go Private Marches Through NYC and San Francisco Today

Protesters in Times Square. (Photo: Albine)

Facebook is going public, but you don’t have to. That’s the message from Abine, a company that provides online privacy protection services for ordinary web users. Today Abine is promoting a bi-coastal flash mob that attracted privacy advocates to join a congo line through the rainy streets of Times Square in the name of making your Facebook profile private.

Protests in New York aimed at Facebook and Apple traditionally don’t seem to get many attendees—even though one journalism professor once told this reporter that “you can get 2,000 people to show up for anything” in this city. But Abine has hit on a salient point. The common Facebook user often has a scant idea of how easy it is to find public photos and information, and how it might come back to haunt him or her. Girls Around Me, anyone?

Abine provides basic services like alerts when Facebook changes its privacy policy and DeleteMe, which removes private information from large databases. Abine will also donate up to $2,500 to the National Network to End Domestic Violence based on how many people participate in the flash mob, share its Facebook page poll and tweet with the hashtag #GoPrivate. Many of Abine’s customers are domestic violence survivors, the company said. The company said about 100 protesters showed up in New York.

Follow Adrianne Jeffries on Twitter or via RSS. ajeffries@observer.com