NEW YORK – Hermits, the elderly, the mentally challenged, luddites, Jennifer Marteens of Des Moines, sex offenders and children under the age of four all woke Wednesday to the discovery that at some point during the night they became full-fledged Facebook users , complete with profiles they had never seen before.
“The hell?” the several million Americans said, staring befuddled at the screens of their computers, which in many cases they had not owned the night before. “Oh hey, Max’s birthday is coming up.”
In the latest of several “updates” to its privacy and user information controls, Facebook has removed the “I’m not on Facebook” option, also known as the Don’t Want Facebook Setting. All American users have now been set to “Have Facebook and Can Sit on It.”
This latest change follows Facebook’s move last week to remove the ability to keep one’s profile invisible from others’ searching. The site has more than 1 billion users worldwide, and, over the objections of many, it is no longer possible to hide from query results without individually blocking the searchers in question.
Now, Americans who do not wish to be Facebook users for social, technological or court-ordered reasons “don’t have to go to the trouble” of having a profile filled out for them, the company says. Profile pictures, friends and “a few spare Check-Ins” have been entered using Google Images and credit card bills.
It has been assumed that, as with older accounts, all new users like Radiohead and Hyperbole and a Half.
“We had a goal of getting every American onto Facebook,” said Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg. “Ok, we’ve done that. Mission accomplished. So now no one can hide from anyone, and I mean no one. Soon concerns about what had been called ‘privacy’ will be hopelessly out-of-date as America returns to the Puritan surveillance society and social media becomes the village square in which everyone’s secrets are aired.”
Zuckerberg added: “Sign up for Facebook! Oh wait, you already have – haha.”