Facebook's Deception of Deactivated Accounts
When Facebook went public in 2012, they didn't have as many active users as they claimed before the IPO.
Almost half the accounts were duplicates or fake, as well as abandoned because users couldn't delete them. I'll show you how to remove your Facebook account successfully.
When Facebook filed its initial public offering on February 1st, 2012 with the Securities and Exchange Commission, they had to disclose in the S-1 IPO filing papers that only about half of the 800 million subscribers they were claiming to have at the time were active daily users.
The numerous abandoned accounts incorrectly inflated the figures that Facebook claimed to have as active users.
A CNBC article by Reuters references the IPO filing, where it states that Facebook only had 483 million daily active users as of December 31st, 2011.
They counted me as one of the users. But I wasn't using it! Here's my story. You may relate to it with your own experience. And I'll tell you what to do about it.
When I signed up for a Facebook account and created a profile, in a short time, I began getting friend requests from other people I didn’t know. It became so annoying that I decided to cancel my account and delete my Facebook profile.
I struggled with that, and it became apparent to me that Facebook did not allow anyone to cancel their account and remove their data. Facebook continued to show user accounts as active members, though they were long gone.
My Experience Trying to Delete My Facebook Account
There are two things one can do, neither of which helps.
- You can deactivate your account, which still allows people to find your profile.
- You can request to cancel your account and remove your data. But that is very tricky and difficult to achieve.
Here is what my experience was with both of these cases:
At first, I could not find any option to delete my profile. All I saw was a way to deactivate the account. I did that. Then I used Google Alerts to monitor my name on the Internet, and months later, Google sent me an alert indicating that I was still on Facebook.
So I tried logging back in, only to discover a bunch of friend requests that were accumulating. That proved that people still saw my profile.
Logging back in had reactivated my account, so I deactivated it again. But that only put me back in the useless stage I was in before, with Facebook including me with their “active” accounts.
I wondered if they were doing that just to make themselves look bigger than they were to get a better initial stock price when the time came to go public. Google and Yahoo both tried to buy Facebook. But Mark Zuckerberg didn’t sell.
I tried changing all my profile info so that it would not match up if anyone wanted to find me on Facebook. I didn’t think it was fair to let people request to be my friend if I wasn’t looking at it and responding anyway. Those who know me can just email me. They have my email address.
When I tried to change the data, a notice indicated that the changes would take effect after a few days. But after many months, the changes I made to my city, state, and other info all remained the same as I first had entered it.
After many more months, I spent hours with Internet searches for help from other people. I discovered that this is a widespread problem. I tried going into the Facebook help section and entered the query, “I want to delete my account permanently.”
Aha! I found the following in the Help Center on Facebook's website:
Note that they admit, “we do save your profile information (friends, photos, interests, etc.), and your account will look just the way it did when you deactivated if you decide to reactivate it.”
Anyway, I followed through with the request and waited another couple of months. My profile never disappeared. After several months I decided to try deleting my profile again.
I tried to log in, and my passcode didn't work. I clicked on the “forgot passcode” option to reset my passcode, and got back an indication that my email address was not associated with any account. Of course not, they deleted my account!
BUT THEY LEFT THE DATA THERE!
As I searched the Internet, I found people talked about destroying their lives because of comments or other information they posted that jeopardized their future. Information that Facebook will never remove.
Once these people grow up and try to get their first job employment, it all comes back to haunt them.
Facebook's Privacy Settings
In June 2009, Facebook added a feature to allow blocking various data by specifying what you want to make available and to whom. You can specify just to let friends see your data, or friends of friends, or everyone.
The problem is that when they implemented this, the default is “everyone,” and most users don’t even know the feature is available to be changed.
Mark Zuckerberg, himself, had his profile publicly visible since October 2009. You could not request to be a friend. That was blocked. But you could still see his friends list and make requests to each of them to be your friend. Major privacy issue if you ask me!
The new settings allow one to specify what parts of your profile are visible and to whom. You can now hide your friend list. But third party apps exist that can circumvent that and trace your friends.
Facebook continues to introduce changes from time to time. In July 2010, Facebook redesigned its event pages to make all of the site have a common look and feel. But one thing that never changed was that they continued to hold on to old accounts that were long gone.
Later in 2010, they included the ability to set privacy on everything you share. Okay, that may help. But deleting everything has always remained a mystery.
Facebook's Privacy Violations
The changes they made to settle with the FTC simply specified that they will ask users for permission before changing the way they share user data.
That didn't help those who lost their privacy rights because they signed up before this settlement. It will only require notification of changes to the present policy.
Why It's So Difficult to Delete Your Facebook Account
They finally created a way to delete accounts. But they made it extremely complicated, so the request tends to fail. But I found out how to succeed with it.
I found a link hidden away deep in the pages of Facebook that lets one permanently delete an account. But it involves all sorts of rules to follow after you submit your request.
You also have to follow strict rules throughout 14 days. If you mess up, your request is canceled.
Okay, I'll tell you the details of what I went through. I followed the steps, and it said, "Your account will be removed in 14 days." That is tricky. They don't want to make it easy.
If they wanted to allow people to delete their accounts, they would have simply let the request be done immediately. But by requiring a 14-day waiting period, it enables you to undo your request by accident, which keeps your account intact and active.
There are several ways you can easily mess up in those 14 days:
- If you leave your Facebook app on your iPhone during those 14-days, your account will not be deleted.
- If you click a Facebook Like Button on any other website, your delete request will be canceled.
- If you log into any other social networking site that uses Facebook Connect, your request to delete your account will be canceled.
How to Delete Your Facebook Profile for Good
I was able to reset my password to log on to my old account by clicking "forgot my password." That was mandatory to get back in so I could delete it with the proper method.
So if you can still log in, go to the following URL and carefully follow the instructions on that page.
If you did it all as they request, your account will be in a deactivated state for 14 days and will be permanently deleted after those 14 days. But ONLY if you abide by all the following rules:
- Remove any reference to your Facebook account from any other website that uses Facebook Connect logins.
- Remove any Facebook apps from your iPhone.
- Refrain from clicking any "Like" buttons on any sites if they use Facebook.
Wait 14 days, three weeks just to be sure because if you check on it before its done, you will have canceled your delete request.
The same is true if any other service you use attempts to access your Facebook account within those 14 days.
Facebook Trends From 2011 thru 2019
In the three years from 2011 through 2014, Facebook lost 3 million teens but gained over 12 million adults over the age of 55. The adult usage continued to grow.
Frustrations With Facebook
I thought it would be helpful to include some questions people are asking, along with my reply. It's a clear representation of the anguish people are feeling.
What info remains for friends to see when my Facebook account is deactivated?
Your deactivated profile remains available for search. I still got friend requests even though I deactivated my account. That will continue until you succeed at getting your account deleted as described in this article.
Once I have deactivated my account, why is it still showing in Google search?
Facebook leaves your profile online. Deactivated Facebook accounts show up in searches because Google bots still find your Facebook profile.
Why do I still get friend requests after deactivating my Facebook profile?
As long as your profile remains and search engines find it, then other people can find you and send a friend request.
There are more questions and answers below the quiz when you scroll down.
How well do you know Facebook? Take this new quiz...view quiz statistics
Questions & Answers
If you deactivate your Facebook account, does it hide all of your posts on other pages, public or friends?
Based on feedback I’ve received from others, they found it impossible to deactivate their Facebook account until they removed all posts they had left on other people's timelines.
As I mentioned in my article, you have to remove all likes and connections with other sites too. If you had used your Facebook account to log into other sites, you need to undo all of that.Helpful 12
How do I remove any reference to my Facebook account from any other website that uses Facebook connect log-ins? I can’t delete my Facebook profile since I have other account connections.
Many websites give you the option to log-in to Facebook or to create your log-in with a username and password.
It's best to avoid using Facebook to log into other services since that locks you in with an active Facebook account that is very difficult to undo later.
If you used Facebook to create other account logins with other services, you need to cancel those other accounts. Any activity will cause your Facebook account to remain active.
In April 2018 Facebook added the ability to see all the apps you have connected and provide an option to undo those connections.Helpful 9
I want to disconnect all the apps that I have associated with my Facebook account. How can I do that? I don't even remember what they all are. In addition, is there an easy way to undo all the "likes" I've done over the years?
As a result of all the latest news about privacy issues in mid 2018, Facebook has been investigating all apps with suspicious activity and is banning them.
For added security, however, you can set the privacy in your settings for your apps and games.
As of April of 2018 a new feature allows you to see all the apps you have connected to your account and all the sites you had “liked.” You will then be able to undo those connections. That feature can be found in your privacy settings.Helpful 8
When I try to delete my Facebook account, there is nothing but a white screen. Is that supposed to happen, or am I just extremely unlucky?
I just tested it, and it works fine. It goes to a page titled "Permanently Delete Account," and it has two options: Deactivate Account or Download Your Information.
If you are not going to the link when you click on it, you may have some kind of blocker on your computer, maybe even malware. Run an anti-malware or anti-virus scan if it continues.Helpful 7
© 2009 Glenn Stok