I initially started my Facebook account because I was working tech support at the college and a student needed help linking Facebook to his school email. I walked through the steps with my own address; lo and behold, a Facebook account was born.
I dabbled with it here and there, the hot wastes of time that it is. With the advent of Beacon and its intrusive nature, I seriously began to consider deactivating my account. I did not take action until reading The Anonymity Experiment – one week experiment with the notions of conspiracy theorists and their guidebook to keeping under the radar.
In Facebook’s “My Account” page, you can choose to deactivate your account. Click first screenshot here to view the form (along with my diatribe to Facebook), but note two features of this form. First, every option to deactivate your account pops up a corresponding sales pitch. Wow. Does their revenue really depend on the number of active accounts? Are you trying to guilt me into keeping my account?
Second, and even more important, I must delineate two sub-gripes regarding the fine print of the “Opt Out” checkbox.
- Sub-gripe a: Why am I checking a box to opt out of maintaining communication with an organization with whom I have deactivated my account? Opt In is the appropriate default: check to Opt In to maintain communication. The very nature of deactivation is a separation of person and application.
- Sub-gripe b: Facebook is deleting nothing! They are muting my account, not deactivating it. Click thumbnail here for full sized deactivation message. If at any time you say, “hey, you know what, I really screwed up Facebook. I think I’d like to have my account after all. But woe! I have deleted it! All those friends I shall have to re-friend!” You know what I say to that? TOUGH COOKIES! You deactivate your account, you don’t deserve to keep all those friends. Yeah, maybe next time you’ll be more careful when you click that “permanently deactivate my account”.
Is this what is happening, though? No. Instead, I mute my account, and I just have to log in like normal to access all of my old information.
So deleting isn’t really deleting, so what is deleting? Well, the help section has a handy option, “How do I delete my account?”, which directs us to fill out the contact us form and request an account deletion.
I have filled out such an email, pasted below (along with my diatribe). I will keep you posted on the Facebook account deletion progress. I anticipate no issues, due to previous outcry on the web resulting from the woe of account deletion – I gather Facebook has more or less streamlined the process.
I received a message from Facebook informing me that my profile and account details have been deleted. Moral of the story: deleting your Facebook account is not a big deal anymore. Just use the contact form and they take care of the rest.
Update April 4, 2008 I just discovered that Facebook did not delete my account, rather, they disabled it. Just for fun, I decided to try logging in to see what happens. Much to my chagrin, it was not deleted, but disabled.
See more at the upcoming blog post.