Facebook's 'outrageous' privacy policy: By the numbers

Anxious that the site is selling their data, Facebook users are railing against its 5,830-word guidelines. A quick, statistical look at the brewing battle

Will Facebook's new privacy policy backfire?
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If Facebook's 400 million users could collectively post a status update, it might read "concerned." Fans are growing increasingly frustrated with the site's labyrinthine network of privacy settings, reports The New York Times — an impenetrable system that many feel lets the company get away with selling its users' private information to advertisers. "'How do i delete my facebook account' was among the top 20 trending searches on Google Hot Trends" this week, notes The Wall Street Journal, and even U.S. senators have voiced concerns. Here, a numbers run-down of Facebook's "outrageous" privacy policy:


Length, in words, of Facebook's current privacy policy (last revised on April 22)

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Length, in words, of the United States Constitution


Word count of Facebook's original privacy statement from 2004


Length, in words, of rival networking site Twitter's current privacy policy


Word count of Facebook's privacy-related Frequently Asked Questions


Word count of F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby


Number of settings Facebook users must adjust to keep the site from sharing private information with third parties


Number of different options users must choose from to keep Facebook from sharing their information


Number of minutes The Huffington Post says it takes to secure your profile if you follow their handy guide


Number of Harvard students that a 19-year-old Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook's CEO, reportedly called "dumb f**ks" in 2003 for providing him with their private information for an early version of the site. "If you ever need info about anyone at Harvard," the teenager boasted to a friend, "just ask."

400 million

Current number of active Facebook users worldwide

176.3 billion

Number of advertisements displayed on Facebook in the first three months of 2010

$1.2-2 billion

Revenue analysts expect Facebook to generate this year

$11 billion

The current estimated value of Facebook

Sources: NY Times (2), Business Insider (2), Forbes, Facebook, WSJ, Guardian

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