How To Delete Your Facebook Account
If, because of the recent Facebook data harvesting scandal, you want to delete your Facebook account, you might be surprised to learn how difficult it is.
It has been reported that Facebook did not let its users know that a data firm linked to President Trump’s 2016 campaign harvested personal information from 50 million accounts, to create a so-called “psychological voter model.” This is not the first time Facebook has acted in a way many people consider to be negligent. It has previously allowed the site to be a platform for propagating disinformation, and it knowingly allowed fake political ads that were meant to mislead voters.
This has caused many Facebook users to want to delete their accounts, but Facebook does not make it easy to do so. Until 2008, there was not even an option for deleting a Facebook account.
At present, there are two options for disengaging from Facebook. You can deactivate your account, which means that your account still exists and you can re-activate it in the future, and all its data can be accessed through the platform. You can also delete your account, but this is a complex and very time consuming multistep process. To do this, you must contact them through their website and then wait 2 weeks for them to process your request. During that time, if for any reason you log onto Facebook, your deletion request is automatically deleted, and you must begin the process all over again.
Another option is simply abandoning your Facebook account, which is an option that many likely choose. Though Facebook refuses to say how many have people have chosen this, or how many have deactivated or deleted their accounts.
According to Serge Egelman, who is the research director of the Berkeley Laboratory for Usable and Experimental Security — which is affiliated with the University of California, Berkeley — the right to be forgotten is recognized in the European Union, but unfortunately not in the United States.