News junkies may have already heard of the Web 2.0 Suicide Machine. It has been covered, among others, by HP de Tijd, De Volkskrant, de Telegraaf, the BBC, The Guardian, The Wall Street Journal and the Los Angeles Times. Taking the word of the year 2009 – 'unfriending' – literally, the Suicide Machine removes your profile from Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace and Twitter: every contact and every piece of personal information gets deleted one-by-one before your eyes. It is not simply a joke, but a useful tool. Members of social networks often do not know that their personal data is profiled and marketed to third parties for marketing. Even if you decide to end your membership, your data stays on their servers invisibly.
The Suicide Machine has been programmed and designed by Gordan Savicic, Walter Langelaar and Danja Vassiliev at the MODDR media lab of WORM in Rotterdam. They're all graduates of the Master Media Design and Communication: Networked Media of WdKA's Piet Zwart Institute. The computer programming and critical research behind the Suicide Machine is based on Gordan Savicic's 2008 Master graduation project. Savicic is now a regular course and project tutor in the Networked Media specialisation of the Media Master programme. WORM/MODDR and the Piet Zwart Institute collaborate frequently on media workshops and public events.