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Meet the author:
Jill Olkoski

Jill has a MA in Clinical Psychology, a BS in Computer Science, and a BS in Mechanical Engineering.

She currently owns Aldebaran Web Design in Edmonds (near Seattle WA) and enjoys educating her clients on topics related to small business website design.

In Jill's previous life, she spent 17 years in the engineering and quality organizations of a Fortune 100 tech company.


How To Delete (not just Deactivate) Your Facebook Account

November 8th, 2010

For a brief time this fall, I tried out Facebook. But after a few weeks, I just didn’t find it useful. Given my profession and how much time I already spend on the computer, I didn’t really need another place I had to go and monitor. So I deactivated my account. But was I surprised when my partner was able to pull up my account on her iPhone!

I learned that on Facebook, deactivating and deleting are not the same thing. According to Facebook (the emphasis was added by me):

“If you deactivate your account, your profile and all information associated with it are immediately made inaccessible to other Facebook users. What this means is that you effectively disappear from the Facebook service. However, we do save your profile information (friends, photos, interests, etc.), so if you want to reactivate at some point, your account will look just the way it did when you deactivated. Many users deactivate their accounts for temporary reasons and expect their information to be there when they return to the service.

If you permanently delete your account, all personally identifiable information associated with your account will be purged from our database. This includes information like your name, email address, mailing address, and IM screen name. Copies of some material (photos, notes, etc.) may remain in our servers for technical reasons, but this material is disassociated from any personal identifiers and completely inaccessible to other users. Facebook also does not use content associated with accounts that have been deactivated or deleted.”

So what I really wanted, was to delete, not deactivate. But you can’t delete from Facebook’s control panel.

I had to do some searching to figure out how to delete my Facebook account. And here’s what I found:

If you do not think you will use Facebook again and would like your account deleted, please keep in mind that you will not be able to reactivate your account or retrieve any of the content or information you have added. If you would like your account permanently deleted with no option for recovery, log in to your account and then submit your request here.

Once you have submitted a request to permanently delete your account, no further action is required on your end. Our system delays the deletion process in case you change your mind and no longer want to permanently delete your account. Note that logging in to your account again will undo a pending deletion request.

In order to delete my account, I had to reactivate it by logging in, then once I was logged in, I had to click on that link above “submit your request here” to get to the deletion form.

They sure don’t make this easy!

J. Olkoski
Aldebaran Web Design, Seattle
Jill Olkoski has a BS in Engineering, a BS in Computer Science and an MA in Clinical Psychology. She delights in using her advanced technical and psychological skills to help small business owners develop cost-effective and successful websites.

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