Done With Facebook?
A lot of our clients are concerned about their privacy and the possibility of being blacklisted for their opinions. Several have asked us how to take down their Facebook page without losing their pictures and updates from many years.
Here is how you download your content and delete your Facebook account:
1. Downloading Your Facebook Data
If you do decide to delete your Facebook account, you do not have to lose all of your information. Afterall, it is your data. Though Facebook may be inclined to say otherwise, at the end of the day the abundance of photos, posts, and other data that have accumulated on your profile is your data at the end of the day. To download everything from your Facebook profile:
- Go to your Facebook Profile.
- Tap the menu icon.
- Select Settings > General > Download a copy of your Facebook data > Start my archive.
Unfortunately, there is no way to pick and choose which parts of your data you want to download. For example, you cannot just download a copy of your photographs. When you choose to get a copy of your Facebook data, you are opting to get a copy of all of your data: photos, posts, event RSVPs etc.
2. Deactivating Your Facebook Account is Not the Same as Deleting It.
Account deactivation is a good option for anyone looking to take a break from the platform but wishes to return at a later time and still have their profile intact. At the moment you deactivate your account, your profile becomes invisible to your Facebook friends and public users. Your name will still be visible on a friend’s contact list or in shared messages, however. Then, when you decide to reactivate your account, all you have to do is re-login. All your data will still be there. In other words, Facebook will have all of your data still.
3. How do you Delete Your Facebook Account?
After you have downloaded your Facebook data, if you wish to proceed with deleting your account you will need to submit a deletion request. All of your data will not immediately disappear from the platform and per Facebook it may take up to 90 days from the beginning of the deletion process to delete all of your data stored in Facebook’s backup systems. Then, even after those 90 days, friends may still see messages you have shared (similar to what your friends are able to see after you have deactivated your account).
Please note, that Facebook has a built-in grace period after you make a deletion request. Typically, Facebook will delay acting on deletion requests until a “few days” after the request was made. (Note, Facebook has not made any effort to clarify the exact timeline beyond a “few days.”) If you login into your account at any time during this grace period, your deletion request will be deleted.
4. Can You Trust Facebook to Delete Your Data After You Delete Your Account?
When Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was asked during a 2018 Senate hearing whether Facebook truly deleted user data once the profile was deleted, Zuckerberg replied that he did not know the answer off the top of his head but that he knew “[they] tried to delete as quickly as reasonable . . . [given the] complex systems.” Additionally, certain information such as messaging history is not stored in your account. Thus, friends may still have access to messages you sent them even after you have deleted your account. Further, copies of some material such as log records may remain in Facebook’s database after Facebook claims they have disassociated such information from personal identifiers.
Facebook maintains the position that after you delete your account, it will eventually delete all the content that you have generated. However, you will still leave behind a paper trail based on your interactions with friends on the platform if those friends have not deleted their Facebook profile. Then, beyond friend interactions, you will leave behind a trail of material that Facebook as disassociated from personal identifiers.
5. Facebook Messenger is a Stand-Alone Application.
Since 2015, it has not been necessary to have a Facebook Account in order to use Facebook Messenger. If you still wish to utilize Facebook’s messaging service, despite privacy concerns, when you open the app choose the “not on Facebook” option on the login screen and enter a telephone number. Information shared in your Facebook Messenger account is almost impossible to safeguard as the data will remain associated with those friends you have sent the messages, too.