With growing concerns of privacy many people want to know how to remove all of their information from Facebook and leave. The answer lays in just one URL on Facebook, but there maybe a little preparation you need to do first.
First a little preparation
Think about what information you might want to keep on your own machine before deleting you account.
What about your friends? You may have built up a number of friends that you have made during your Facebook experience; of course your only means of staying in touch with them is probably through Facebook. For those you want to keep up with later, let them know what you intend to do and work out an alternative means of staying in touch. This could be by e-mail, a chat or video program or indeed another social network, there are many alternatives.
What about your photos? Photos that you may have uploaded by phone to Facebook may in fact be the only copy of the images that you have. Work out what you wish to keep and download them to your hard drive or place them on another online photo storage site, again there are many to choose from.
What about your updates and conversations? You may have some really inspiring or interesting conversations that you want to keep. Look through your wall and see what is there that you wouldn’t like to lose. Conversations can be copied using a screen capture program or just selected in your browser and saved on your own machine.
Consider using a Facebook Archive application
If you have been an active member of Facebook for some time you might have a lot of information and stories up there that you would like to keep. There are applications on the Internet that will take the information stored on Facebook and download it onto your hard drive. If you want to keep as much as possible, do a search for ‘facebook archive’ and see which applications or browser addons will do what you want. Just make sure you test them fully to see if they have stored everything you want to keep.
Other Sites You Use With Facebook Connect Logins
Facebook Connect is a way of logging into various sites around the web by using your Facebook details. Sites like Digg, Vimeo, CNET, FamilyLink for example use this method and if you delete your account before changing your method of login at the sites the you will find it inconvenient, you would probably need to either contact them one by one or set up a new account. You should take the time to look around at what sites you log into using this method and change them. Set up a new log in method on each site, usually just username and password then log out and ensure you can get back using the new method. The more you use the Internet the more frustrating this can be but this could be an opportunity for you to gather all of your login information together and put them in a safe place.
The Facebook process of leaving
This is the Facebook’s preferred way of leaving, using their deactivation process, however it leaves all your information with them. Go into your Facebook account; select the ‘Account’ menu item ‘Account Settings’. At the bottom of the list you will see ‘Deactivate account’, click on the ‘deactivate’ link. You will be see now pictures of a selection of friends that will miss you and below that a chance to give your reasons for leaving. The big blue ‘Deactivate my account’ button will then do just that – except all your photos and information will remain on Facebook indefinitely.
To delete your Facebook account properly use this URL
This is the only way of removing all of the data you have put onto Facebook.
The whole process can take 14 days to complete as long as you do not enter into that account in that time. Watch also within that time you do not click on any Facebook likes or shares, otherwise it will automatically reinstate the account. If you can delete all of your cookies within your browser then that will prevent you from logging in automatically. With all your other sites stay away from the Facebook Connect login, use your username and password instead. It is worth checking once the 14 days have elapsed whether you account can be logged into and if deletion was successful. If not then something triggered your account to be restored again, maybe another login on another site. Try again or contact Facebook support for help.
Now to sell an idea
My true passion is wrapped up in uniting the world in a universal social collaborative system called Beyond One World, which is an investigation as to whether the world can work together, according to highest ideals, equally, without any form of government or corporation. As part of this thinking I have created an experimental site at ads0.com where a social site might be brought into being that is used, controlled and owned equally by everyone that uses it. The open source application Elgg was used in this example but if this idea can be applied to another Open Source system that is more able to allow people to collaborate then please let me know. You are welcome to join in and offer your thoughts and ideas on the site.