[David Strom's Web Informant] Getting rid of Facebook

David Strom david at strom.com
Tue Sep 4 10:27:38 EDT 2018


Web Informant, September 4, 2018: Getting rid of Facebook

One of my readers asked me how to go about removing Facebook completely
from their online lives. After I pulled together the various links that
you’ll see below, I thought I would share with you all. Now, I am not
saying that I am contemplating doing this: sadly, my online professional
life requires that I continue to be a part of Facebook, whether I like it
or not. But that doesn't mean I have to agree with its corporate policies,
as I have made clear in several posts earlier this summer. But read on or
save this column somewhere, just in case you are thinking about de-Facing
your life.  And be prepared to spend a few hours going through the numerous
steps.

*Your first to-do is to download all of your data that Facebook has on you*.
I wrote about this process earlier (and covered the other social networks
too <http://blog.strom.com/wp/?p=6497>) in this post. But if you just want
the Facebook archive download, go to this page
<https://www.facebook.com/dyi?x=AdkA0Kau6MLj_7I0>.  You might have to wait
a few days until your archive is ready: don't worry, you will be notified.

*Next, decide whether you want a trial separation or a total divorce.* Facebook
refers to the former as *deactivating* your account. This keeps your data
in their grubby digital hands, but at least you will disappear from your
friends’ social networks. You can change your mind in the future and
re-activate your account just by logging back into your account, so if you
are somewhat serious about this but don’t want to inadvertently login, make
sure you delete the login details from your password manager or any saved
websites on your various browsers and computers.

Before you opt for the total divorce, *take a look at the connected apps*
that you once allowed access to your Facebook account. You might not have
remembered doing this, and in another column I spoke about what you should
do for a social media “spring cleaning”
<https://mashable.com/article/how-delete-facebook/#K.eg.xZOSsqu> for the
other networks and for your various privacy settings. You should spend some
time doing this app audit for the other networks as well.

Why do you want to deal with your connected apps before total account
deletion? Because you might want to still access one or more of these apps,
and if you delete your Facebook presence, your access goes away if that
particular app depends on that. For example, a web portal that my doctors
use to communicate with me could depend on my Facebook login. (It doesn’t,
but that is because I decided to use another login mechanism other than
Facebook.) By going to the connected apps page, you can see the complete
list of whom you have authorized.

Still with me? I realize that it seems as if the scope of this project
continues to widen, but that is to be expected. Let’s continue.

Mashable has this nice article that will walk you through the steps
<https://mashable.com/article/how-delete-facebook/#K.eg.xZOSsqu> of both
deactivation and a complete deletion process. I won’t repeat the numerous
steps here, but you should take the time to review their post.

If you opt for deletion, remember you have to *cleanse your entire
computing portfolio of everything Facebook*: this means all your browsers,
your mobile devices, and your mobile messenger apps too. I don’t
particularly like the mobile messenger app, as one friend described it
accurately as a “rabid dog” that just grabs your contacts and other data.
Indeed, if you have examined your downloaded archive you can see that for
yourself.

Now for the final step, the actual deletion. The Mashable piece has a long
list of what you have to do, aside from hitting the delete button in the
Facebook interface. If you want a more visual aid, check out this screencast
that shows you these first steps
<https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-qUlr5vtM0s>.

I realize this is a lot of effort, and Facebook has very nicely put in a
number of “Are you sure” checks along the path, just in case you aren’t
completely ready for the divorce. I would be interested in hearing from you
if you do go through the entire process and what your reasons are for doing
it.
Comments always welcome here <http://blog.strom.com/wp/?p=6710>.
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