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18,000 users sign up to shut Facebook out of their lives for 99 days after THAT experiment

By Noel Young | Correspondent

July 13, 2014 | 4 min read

More than 18,000 people have signed up to shut Facebook out of their lives for 99 days.

Thousands opt out of Facebook ... for 99 days

The “Facebook fast", organised by a Dutch nonprofit initiative, is called 99 Days of Freedom.

The organisers at www.99daysoffreedom.com, ask users, “Do you ever wonder what life is like without Facebook?

“In response to Facebook's controversial mood experiment involving some 700,000 unwitting users, we present you 99 Days of Freedom; an online study on how life without Facebook impacts user happiness.

“ Joining is very simple: follow our three step instruction to join the experiment for as long as you like. We can’t wait to hear how you spend your time off.”

The campaign stems from the controversial study conducted by Facebook manipulating the news feeds of more than 700,000 people in order to test their emotional reactions — without their explicit permission.

The fallout continues, including a senator’s call for the US Federal Trade Commission FTC to take a look, the San Jose Mercury news reports.

The Facebook fast campaign is the brainchild of Just, a creative agency based at Leiden, in the he Netherlands. Its employees are “fiercely loyal” Facebook users, the agency says,

Director, Merijn Straathof explained how what began as an office joke quickly morphed into an officially-funded project.

"Like a lot of Facebook users, many of us were bothered by reports of secret moodexperiments," says Straathof. "As we discussed it internally, we noted an interesting tendency: To a person, everyone had at least a 'complicated' relationship with Facebook.

"Whether it was being tagged in unflattering photos, getting into arguments with other users or simply regretting time lost through excessive use, there was a surprising degree of negative sentiment. Then someone joked, 'I guess that the real question is, 'How do you feel when you don't use Facebook?' There was group laughter,followed by, 'Wait a second. That's a really good question!”.

The Washington Post points out studies that have shown people do quit Facebook. But the social network’s account-holders use the site for keeping up with the Joneses, (and their families and friends), as a news source, a photo album, and more.

There has been no sign that users have run for the hills in the wake of the experiment controversy.

Tha new campaign was launched Wednesday . By yesterday at noon, 18,509 people had signed up. Facebook has more than 1 billion users.

The Washington Post points out studies that have shown people do quit Facebook. But the social network’s account-holders use the site for keeping up with the Joneses, (and their families and friends), as a news source, a photo album, and more. There have been no reports that its users haven’t run for the hills in the wake of the experiment controversy.

The organisers say, "Joining the 99 days of freedom experiment only takes a few minutes. Yet it saves the average user 1683 minutes. That’s well over 28 hours of freedom! We will contact you after 33, 66 and 99 days, to see how you’re doing."

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