European Reddit users have launched a massive campaign to “annoy” Facebook, which has apparently flooded the social network’s offices with requests for personal data.
EU law gives citizens of member nations the right to access any of their personal data held by any company.
According to an image posted on Reddit yesterday, Facebook is required to send the data on a CD-ROM. The Reddit poster encouraged others to fill out the data request form on Facebook.
“Imagine them burning billions of CDs,” the image reads, quite optimistically. That post marched straight to the social news site’s front page, with nearly two-thousand comments and thousands of upvotes.
Why annoy Facebook? Even redditors didn’t really seem to know, beyond a vague sense of vigilante justice against a company that often comes under fire for its privacy policies.
As many pointed out in the thread, Facebook allows you to download your personal data, anyway. So the whole thing didn’t amount to much more than an obnoxious prank.
The campaign is seeing some success, however. Earlier today, another post made it to the site’s front page, this time a screen grab of a Facebook email.
“Due to the volume of personal data access requests that we have recently received,” the Facebook data request team apparently wrote to the Reddit user, “we are experiencing significant delay in processing such requests.”
Other redditors reported similar responses from Facebook.
So has Reddit users succeeded in overwhelming-- or, at least, -- annoying Facebook?
The company didn’t respond to a request to comment for this article. And until they do respond, it’s impossible to gauge the real effect of the campaign.
But it’s clear redditors did succeed in annoying one particularly testy group: other redditors.
The majority of comments today harshly criticized the campaign.
“Why is everyone so gung-ho on taking down facebook?” wrote redditor slumber42 in one of the most top voted comments. “I don't really understand the point of flooding them with requests.”
Redditor caviar agreed: “This whole antic is just pointless and immature. All that's going to get accomplished here is we're going to annoy and piss off some Facebook employees. If you want to rebel against Facebook, then stop using it.”