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Jimmy Kimmel plugs 'National Unfriend Day' for Facebook

November 16, 2011 |  5:33 pm

Kimmelunfriend
It still lacks the grandeur of, say, Administrative Professionals’ Day. But Jimmy Kimmel is hoping his campaign to weed those overgrown Facebook friend rosters will become an American tradition.

Thursday is the second annual National Unfriend Day, which the ABC late-night host is sponsoring to help persuade Facebook users to trim their burgeoning friend lists, which often number in the hundreds and occasionally in the thousands.

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"I really feel like it’s going to replace the Jerry Lewis telethon," Kimmel joked in a phone interview this week. "We’re hoping to get Norm Crosby this year …. We're hoping that it goes on as long as there's a Facebook."

Here's Kimmel explaining the crusade last week:

 

As comedy stunts go, crossing swords with the world’s second-most popular website (behind Google) might not be a bad gimmick. But there are some serious issues lurking behind Kimmel’s quest.

Just this week, Facebook was struck by a spam attack that filled some users' newsfeeds with pornographic and violent images. A more common problem arises with “friending,” or the process of choosing the people who populate each user’s personal network.

A study released this week by the Pew Research Center's Internet and American Life Project found that 66% of adults online use social media, and two-thirds of those cited connecting with friends as a major reason for using the services.

But on Facebook, the meaning of the word "friend" has been stretched to include people the user has never met and indeed has never even heard of before. "These people are not your friends," Kimmel scoffed. "No one has 2,000 friends."

 

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— Scott Collins (twitter.com/scottcollinsLAT)

Photo: ABC host Jimmy Kimmel is behind "National Unfriend Day." Credit: Screenshot from Facebook.

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