A lot of people want to delete Facebook these days.
Maybe it was the Cambridge Analytica scandal that initially made you think about it.
The fact that third-party apps could harvest not just your data, but your friends’ data too. And then use that information to influence key political votes.
It’s so intrusive it could easily be some kind of dystopian sci-fi plot. But it’s actually happening.
I mean, if it’s enough to get a WhatsApp co-founder to suggest jumping ship, it’s probably worth taking notice.
It is time. #deletefacebook— Brian Acton (@brianacton) March 20, 2018
Perhaps it was when you found out that 200-600 million Facebook and Instagram passwords were kept in plain text.
You’d think that despite all the scrutiny on Facebook’s privacy faux pas in recent years, they’d at least be getting the very basics right.
If there’s one thing that Facebook staff would know, it’s that passwords are just a little bit important. Keeping them secure is kind of essential.
Instead they were just sitting there, in a readable format, for any Facebook employee to abuse.
Thankfully, no reports of improper access have come to light following this mind-blowing mishap.
Tired of the constant stream of targeted adverts? A creepy ex stalking you?
Even if it’s just because you want less distractions in your life. There are countless reasons why you might consider deleting Facebook.
Whatever yours is, we’ve got you covered. 👇
Should I delete or deactivate?
Walking away from such a big social platform is no easy task.
Many of us rely on Facebook to chat and interact with friends and family. Particularly if we’re living or travelling abroad.
Before you take the step to delete your account, it may be worth talking to loved ones to plan how you’re going to keep in touch.
There are plenty of alternative social media platforms and secure messaging apps available.
If you’re not convinced enough to completely delete your Facebook account, you can temporarily deactivate it instead.
This will give you a trial period to see what life is like without the social platform.
Of course, deactivating your Facebook profile is not going to affect your personal data held by the company. But this could be a good first step if you’re not sure that you’d be able to commit to a full deletion.
How to deactivate your Facebook account
To deactivate your Facebook account, follow these four steps:
- Click the account menu down arrow at the top right of any Facebook page in your web browser
- Select ‘Settings’
- You’ll automatically land on the ‘General’ option from the left column
- Click ‘Edit’ from the ‘Manage your account’ tab
- Press ‘Deactivate your account’, and then follow the steps to confirm your decision
To reactivate your account after deactivating it, simply log into Facebook with your e-mail and password. Your profile will be entirely reinstated.
How to download your Facebook information
Before going through the process and deleting your account, it may be worth downloading your Facebook data.
One thing I found pretty useful about this step is that it gives you a copy of every photo and video you ever uploaded to Facebook.
You also get a few interesting insights, such as which advertisers uploaded contact lists that included your details.
To download your information, just follow these steps:
- Click the down arrow at the top right of any Facebook page in your web browser and select ‘Settings’
- From the menu on the left, select ‘Your Facebook information’
- Choose ‘View’ from the ‘Download your information’ tab
- You will be taken to a screen where you can choose which information you would like to be included in the file.
- Everything is already preselected, so just hit ‘Create File’ when you’re ready.
A notification will alert you when it’s ready to download. But keep in mind, this will contain your personal data and Facebook profile information, so be careful about where you save it.
OK, I’m ready to delete
Facebook has recently made a public pivot to privacy. It’s a bit difficult to believe what Mark Zuckerberg says, though.
In this case, on 6 March 2019, regarding secure data storage, Zucky B said:
People should expect that we won’t store sensitive data in countries with weak records on human rights
And then barely one week later, Facebook opened a data center in Singapore. A country with a weak human rights record; especially when it comes to privacy and freedom of expression.
There’s certainly a chance that the social media giant could change its ways and improve the way it operates.
Some might even go as far as saying the only way is up, since things surely can’t get much worse.
But right now, here today, we can definitely understand why you might want out for good.
And if that’s the case, here’s how you do it:
How to delete your Facebook account
In order to permanently delete your Facebook account, you need to visit a designated help page: https://www.facebook.com/help/delete_account
Once you’ve completed the deletion process:
- You will have a 30-day window to cancel the decision.
- After 30 days have passed, you cannot reactivate your account.
- Your profile, photos, posts, videos, and everything else you’ve added will be permanently deleted. You won’t be able to retrieve anything.
- You’ll no longer be able to use Facebook Messenger.
- You won’t be able to use Facebook Login for other apps you may have signed up for with your Facebook account, like Spotify, Tinder, or Pinterest. You may need to contact the apps and websites to recover those accounts.
- Some information, like messages you sent to friends, may still be visible to them after you delete your account. This is because copies of messages you have sent are stored in your friends’ inboxes.
A syncing ship
Just remember that both Instagram and WhatsApp are owned by Facebook.
And plans have already been outlined to integrate the platforms.
It seems as though the reason for this is pretty clear. The Zuckster wants to sync all of your information across the services.
New data regulations, like the GDPR in Europe and the Consumer Privacy Act in California.
These rules state that Facebook can only store data if it’s necessary for the services it provides.
By linking the underlying infrastructure together, it means that the data remains necessary for all three platforms.
Therefore, even if you decide to delete your account on both Facebook and WhatsApp, the company would be able to keep all of your data as long as you still had an Instagram account.
And as long as they have your data, they can sell it to advertisers.
So, if you’re going to permanently delete your Facebook account. You may also want to consider deleting your Instagram and WhatsApp presence too.
Beyond the platforms themselves, you will also have to take care of what other websites and apps you interact with.
Facebook has code capable of tracking you in over 40% of free Android and iOS apps. This means even if you delete your Facebook account, you can still end up being tracked via unaffiliated apps.
You’ve probably seen the “Like” button embedded into a lot of websites too.
This is another way Facebook can hoover up information on what websites you like to visit, what links you clicked, how long you spent on a certain page, and much more.
You don’t need to have an account on the platform itself. But your activity on other websites is still being reported back to Zuck & Co.
Well, Ghosties, that’s how you delete Facebook.
Are you planning on taking the plunge? Or have you been steering clear for a while now? Let me know in the comments.
I’m sure you’ll REALLY miss scrolling through endless feeds of baby and cat pictures. But just think of all the time you’ll save!