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Facebook's Deception of Deactivated Accounts

Updated on March 26, 2017
Glenn Stok profile image

With a background in Computers and a Master of Science Degree, Glenn Stok applies his professional insight to teach Internet related topics.

When Facebook went public in 2012, they didn't have as many active users as they claimed prior to 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 successfully remove your Facebook account.

The numerous abandoned accounts on Facebook, as well as the multiple accounts many people have, incorrectly inflated the figures that Facebook claimed to have as active users.

When Facebook filed its initial public offering on Feb 1st, 2012 with the Securities and Exchange Commission, they had to admit 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 actually active daily 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.

I was counted 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 very short time I started getting friend requests from people I didn’t know. This became so annoying I decided to cancel my account and delete my Facebook profile.

I have been struggling with that ever since and it became obvious to me that Facebook does not allow anyone to cancel their account and remove their data. Facebook continues to show user accounts as active members even though they are long gone and even though they have tried to cancel their accounts.

Many Facebook users have multiple accounts. Many accounts are abandoned. This changes the figures that are claimed as active users.
Many Facebook users have multiple accounts. Many accounts are abandoned. This changes the figures that are claimed as active users. | Source

My Experience Trying to Delete My Facebook Account


There are two things one can do, neither of which helps.

  1. You can deactivate your account. Which still allows people to find your profile and people can still send requests to be friends. Deactivated Facebook accounts don't really mean anything.
  2. You can request to cancel and completely remove your account data. But this is very tricky and difficult to achieve.


Here is what my experience has been with both of these cases…

At first I could not find any option to delete my profile. All I found was a way to deactivate the account. So I did that. I use Google alerts to monitor my name on the Internet and months later Google sent me an alert indicating that I was still being listed on Facebook. So I tried logging back in, only to discover a bunch of friend requests that were accumulating. That proved that people were still seeing 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 wonder if they are doing this just to make themselves look bigger than they are in order to get a bigger sales price should they ever go public. Google and Yahoo both tried to buy Facebook. But Facebook didn’t sell. Are they holding out for more? Are they buying time to build an even bigger false image, fooling anyone who may still want to buy them out?

I had posted notices to Facebook requested to remove all my profile data and waited and waited. I even tried logging back in to search for a link that might allow complete removal. But every time I logged in, I found more friend requests. I even found some requests from people I knew. That bothered me because these people should be emailing me direct if they want to be in touch. After all, they knew me. How silly!

I tried changing all my profile info so that it would not match up if anyone tried 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 really 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 entered it.

Okay, I realize that the Facebook privacy policy does say that any information you enter remains. But this is stupid. What if someone moves? Or did they refuse to allow my changes because they knew I was doing it to try to negate my profile? I wonder.

After many more months, I spent hours on Internet searches for help from other people in blogs and news columns. I discovered that this is a widespread problem. I tried going into the Facebook help section and entered the query “I want to permanently delete my account”. Aha! I found the following in the Help Center on Facebook's website.…

Detailed Instructions To Delete Facebook Account
Detailed Instructions To Delete Facebook Account | Source


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.”

And their privacy policy, the way I interpret it, clearly indicates that you have no privacy. So I call it a non-privacy policy.

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 was no good. 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!


Facebook's Privacy Policy


This behavior of keeping user data happens to be clearly explained in their privacy policy. All I can say is “Buyer Beware!” Or in this case, “Facebook Member Beware!”

In my Internet searches, I have found blogs where people’s lives were destroyed because of comments or other information they themselves posted, or that others have posted about them, true or not, that may jeopardize their future and that Facebook will never ever 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 to just let friends see your data, or friends of friends, or everyone. 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!

On December 9th, 2009 Facebook introduced some new privacy settings. Their non-privacy policy still remains as I still see my “deleted” profile is still online and can be found with a Google search.

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’s privacy policy still says “We are not responsible for third party circumvention of any privacy settings or security measures on Facebook.”

Facebook continues to introduce changes from time to time. In July 2010 Facebook redesigned their event pages to look more like the profile pages in an effort to make all of the site have a common look and feel. But one thing that never changes is that they continue to have the desire to hold on to old accounts that are long gone.

Later in 2010 they simplified the privacy page by including 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


Facebook settled eight counts of privacy violations with the Federal Trade Commission according to a story in the Washington Post on Nov 29th 2011. Facebook has avoided monetary fines by agreeing to change certain aspects of its privacy policy.

I don't see much improvement with this since they are still taking advantage of people who don't read their privacy policy page before signing up.

The changes they made to settle with the FTC simply specify that they will ask users for permission before changing the way they share user data. This doesn't help those who have lost their privacy rights because they signed up prior to this settlement. It will only require notification of changes to the present policy. How silly is that?


Why It's So Difficult to Delete Your Facebook Account


Previously they just had a link that deactivates your account as I spoke about above. They never gave any way to delete anything since their privacy policy says they own anything you upload and all data you enter.

Facebook finally created a way to delete accounts. But they made it extremely complicated so the request tends to fail. But found out how to succeeded at 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. If you mess up, your request is canceled.

You also have to follow strict rules throughout a 14 day period. This I am sure was done to increase your chances of messing up during that time.

Okay, I know you are wondering what I am talking about. So let me tell you the details of what I went through. I followed the steps...and it said, "Your account will be removed in 14 days." This is tricky. They obviously don’t want to make it easy.

If they truly wanted to allow people to delete their accounts, they would have simply let the request be performed immediately and be done with it. But by requiring a 14-day waiting period it gives you the opportunity to undo your request, 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 and your phone is turned on during that 14-day period, your request to delete your account will be canceled.
  • If you accidentally click a "like" button on any website that uses Facebook to register the "like" then your request to delete your account 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 Really Delete Your FaceBook Profile


Okay. So here is the way to finally get yourself out of Facebook. Have fun finding this info on their site. It’s not prominently displayed. But you don’t need to look. I explain it all here.

I was actually able to get a new password to log on to my deactivated account. That was mandatory in order to get back in to delete it with their new method. I tried it in March 2011 and now I can’t find my profile. Finally really gone!

So if you can still log in, go to the following URL and carefully follow the instructions on that page.

https://www.facebook.com/help/contact.php?show_form=delete_account

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 that 14 day period. But ONLY if you abide by all the following...

  • 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.


Now 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 that 14 day period. The deletion process will be canceled and your account will remain activate.

You see? It's still not easy. So what do you think? Is it a deception that Facebook is creating?


Facebook Trends from 2011 thru 2014


In the three years from 2011 through 2014, Facebook lost 3 million teens, but gained over 12 million adults over the age of 55.

There may be many reasons why teens are leaving Facebook, such as the frustrations listed in the next section below this chart. But it's also possible that they don't want to be on the same social network where their parents are on.

 
2011
2014
2017
 
 
 
 
Teens (13-17)
13 million
9.8 million
 
Adults 55+
15.5 million
28 million
 
Total
28.5 million
37.8 million
1.86 billion
Source: 2011 and 2014 Data from iStrategyLabs | 2017 Data From Zephoria.com

Frustrations with Facebook


I thought it would be helpful to include some questions people are asking. It's a clear representation of the anguish people are feeling. I also include my answers to these questions.

  • Why am I still getting friend requests even though I deactivated my Facebook account?
    • ANSWER: Deactivating your account does not remove your profile, which is now owned by Facebook according to their privacy policy which most people don't read when they sign up..

  • What info remains for friends to see when facebook account is deactivated?
    • ANSWER: Your deactivated profile remains available for search. I myself still got friend requests even though I deactivated my account. So that means they are finding me when they search.

  • Once I have deactivated my account why is it still showing in Google search?
    • ANSWER: Facebook leaves your profile online. Deactivated Facebook accounts still show up in searches because Google bots still find your Facebook profile.

  • Why do I still get friend requests after deactivating my Facebook profile?
    • ANSWER: As long as your profile remains and search engines find it, then other people can find you and send a friend request.

How well do you know Facebook? Take this new quiz...


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© 2009 Glenn Stok

What Facebook problems have you had?

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    • Glenn Stok profile image
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      Glenn Stok 7 days ago from Long Island, NY

      J - Either you used a different login email or they totally removed your data. Two years is a long time.

    • profile image

      7 days ago

      It's funny because I deactivated my page 2 years ago thinking it would still be there when I was ready to get back on. I tried to log in and reactivate it but of course it says there is no such profile that exist. Smh! I'm so confused I thought it would still be there.

    • profile image

      Joe 12 days ago

      Thanks. No, I used the same email when I deleted it, and I used the same process for deleting an account that you describe above. Doesn't make sense, but I've seen some similar complaints on other sites online so I guess I'm not the only one with this issue. Thanks again.

    • Glenn Stok profile image
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      Glenn Stok 12 days ago from Long Island, NY

      Marlon - No matter what you do, you cannot hide unethical behavior. Your location in India is still traceable.

    • profile image

      Marlon 12 days ago

      I Glenn, I had created some fake facebook accounts. For posting comments on pages and people I did not like. Now someone seems to have reported a comment or something and facebook has blocked me. And even though I change my IP with a VPN, Facebook still won't let me create a new account without a picture. Question is, how might they be figuring out how the same user is trying to create a new fake account? I clear my cookies and everything and take all precautions. But they have got something else figured out over this, obviously! Might you have an idea? I know it is unethical. But is Facebook any better, really? They are the gangsters of the digital age.

    • Glenn Stok profile image
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      Glenn Stok 13 days ago from Long Island, NY

      Joe - A friend just did that last month after he had canceled his account several months ago and changed his mind. I told him to just log in again and it would automatically reactive. He didn't believe me but when he tried it, it worked.

      I have no idea why in your case it says your email is not associated with any account.

      I wonder if you inadvertantly found a way to actually totally remove the account. Did you do something different from me instructions when you canceled? Or did you use a different email address? That would explain it.

    • profile image

      Joe 13 days ago

      Hi Glenn. Thanks for the article. Can you clarify something for me? You mentioned putting in a request to delete your account and waiting a couple months, after which time your profile hadn't disappeared. This happened to me as well, and, like you, when I try to go into the account to re-delete it, it says that the email address is not associated with any account (preventing me from doing anything). You later say you were subsequently able to get back into the account. How did you accomplish this? Any advice? Thanks.

    • profile image

      Amirah 5 weeks ago

      An eye opener! I got rid of my fb account years ago. But because I used the same email address to create an Instagram account later, when this company was aqcuired by Facebook maybe their user data was combined -- I think this reactivated my dead fb. Now I get alerts about ON MY INSTAGRAM about fb activity! It's disturbing and annoying as all heck. I don't intend to log back into fb ever again. Haven't touched it for over 5 years. I wish it would get out of my life -- my instagram is private and only for photos I share with siblings, and that is enough for me. But having other social media accounts is unnecessary to me. Getting "off the grid" is a lot harder than it used to be. It makes ordinary people who don't want to participate seem like we have something to hide, and forces our past info to stay visible on the internet no matter what.

    • Glenn Stok profile image
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      Glenn Stok 5 weeks ago from Long Island, NY

      Don, Did you follow all the steps I mentioned? If you need to start over, you can reset your password if you still use the original email address. But if you forgot your own email address, no one can help you.

    • profile image

      don 5 weeks ago

      hi its been 5 years i deactivate my account FB.

      today i got to know that i am still active.

      but i DID NOT LOG IN, since i can't remember the email &

      password.

      help tq

    • profile image

      annie 7 weeks ago

      thanks for responding, glenn!

    • Glenn Stok profile image
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      Glenn Stok 7 weeks ago from Long Island, NY

      Annie, it's not surprising that you are invisible because, as you said, you deactivated your account. You see your own posts because every time you log back in, you are activating your account again.

    • profile image

      annie 7 weeks ago

      hi glenn, thanks for this info.

      whenever i deactivate my account, i seem to be altogether invisible..... when i activate it, i send private messages or post on another person's wall... but i deactivate at the end of that session. i found that my posts are not seen by my fb friends. the weird thing is that when logging back on, i can easily see a record of my communication, but my friends cannot. if you have any info on this "invisibility" which happens when toggling back and forth between deactivation and activation it would be appreciated.

      also, if you have any tips about how to delete a "page" that was not created intentionally (fb made a "page" out of a name that i called my workplace), please tell us. i have tried what they suggest dozens of times... i tried "editing" the page, etc. it's irritating to see this "page" show up on google search. when i send the "help" at fb my request, they simply ignore it, or answer generically. i'm guessing that their employees could probably delete the page so easily.

    • Glenn Stok profile image
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      Glenn Stok 3 months ago from Long Island, NY

      Robin Steele - Thank you for adding that information Robin. Sorry to hear about your brother. Please accept my condolences. Wishing you peace during this difficult time for you.

    • profile image

      Robin Steele 3 months ago

      I saw a question about deleting a person's account who has become deceased. My brother died (suicide) and it was up to me to remove his account. Facebook has a process which is described on their site (I'm not sure if anyone answered this on this string yet) Anyway, if you follow the process you have to provide a copy of the death certificate and be an immediate member of the family I believe. When they said it was deleted, I could still access my brother's profile. When I complained about it, they said it would take a week or so to disappear. I checked back again a short time later and can no longer find his profile with a search. At least they have a process for that which seems to work.

    • profile image

      Phoebe 4 months ago

      Yes, unfortunately I think you're probably right. Thanks again for your time. All the best to you.

      Phe.

    • Glenn Stok profile image
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      Glenn Stok 4 months ago from Long Island, NY

      Phoebe - I see you understood the methods I described very well. It sounds like you've done everything correctly to get your account deleted. I don't know why your profile data is remaining if you definitely have no active likes or connections. The only thing I can imagine is that you missed one. The terms of service never actually where changed — Facebook still has rights to all the information you put on the site. Maybe they are enforcing that right more strongly now, compared to the time I wrote this article several years ago.

    • profile image

      Phoebe 4 months ago

      Hello, sorry, I realise you wrote this article a few months ago and I'm sure you'd quite like to move on but I found your article after searching how to permanently vamoose my facebook account once and for all and you see I've actually done all the steps you suggested and when I search for it it still appears.

      Further puzzling is I've never actually 'used' my account, never posted, never 'liked' anything. I certainly don't have it on my phone or linked to anything. I suppose you might say "well if it's blank just forget about it and move on" but it really bothers me and I want it removed.

      I know this is a long shot but do you have any advice?

      I've gone through the 14 day waiting period at least 4 times, if I try to log in now it says "my email that you've entered does not match any account" which is progress because prior to that even months after the 14 day waiting period when it occurred to me to check and see if my account had actually disappeared for good I was still able to log on and would have to restart the 14 day waiting period.

      As I said I've never 'used' the account so I can't figure out what would trigger facebook to hang onto the data. If you have any ideas about where I should go from here I'd be very grateful.

      Many thanks

      Phoebe

    • Glenn Stok profile image
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      Glenn Stok 5 months ago from Long Island, NY

      Alex, The only thing I can imagine is what I explained in the article – that being – you probably used your Facebook account to log into other sites in the past, or liked other sites. If you didn't disable all those likes and logon permissions before cancelling your Facebook account, then the account remained active. Today they are forcing everyone into using the messenger app.

      If you lost your password, click "forgot password" and follow the steps to get back in. Then clean up everything before requesting to cancel your account again.

    • profile image

      Alex 5 months ago

      Hi there! I have an issue!? I deactivated my Fb account 2 years ago... last days some friends told me that they got a notification that i was joining messenger... I didn't do that .. i even don't remember the email or password... and nobody else knows it... after that was again blocked ... if somebody can help me with some answers, please. Thank u!

    • Glenn Stok profile image
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      Glenn Stok 5 months ago from Long Island, NY

      I have heard they had done that in the past, but they are more careful now. However, the rules are still in place that if you used your Facebook account to log into other social sites, then your deactivation will be reversed when you use the other site. That's why you need to undo all external connections to your account, which is not an easy task since most people have their Facebook linked to so many other social sites.

    • profile image

      Ramsey 5 months ago

      I deactivated my Facebook account 6 months ago. I don't want to delete it because at some point I probably will go back. Today I found out that my page is up & running... 100%!!! I'm angry! Can they just activate my account whenever they feel like it without notifying me???

    • Glenn Stok profile image
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      Glenn Stok 7 months ago from Long Island, NY

      John, you have to follow the instructions I gave in this article in order to completely delete your Facebook account. If you did any Facebook likes for other sites then you have to undo those before you request to delete your account, otherwise it remains active as I mentioned. In addition, all connections you have with other sites need to be disabled first. For example, if you used Facebook to log onto other sites, that's a connection you need to dissolve too.

    • profile image

      John13531 7 months ago

      I deactivated my Facebook account 2+ years ago, but I STILL get friend requests in my e-mail off and on.

      Is there anyway to unsubscribe/block/remove whatever others are seeing and trying to 'friend me' at all, or is it a lost cause?

      *IIRC: I set all privacy on my account/profile to 'only viewable to myself' before I followed the link to delete my account permanently, no idea why I'm still getting requests now and then*

    • Glenn Stok profile image
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      Glenn Stok 15 months ago from Long Island, NY

      Marcia - Remember that according to the terms of service that you agreed to when you opened your account, you have given Facebook full rights to your photos that you upload.

    • profile image

      Marcia 15 months ago

      How do I get my stuff off Facebook if I was wrongfully banned? My husband showed me on his phone that my page and all my photos are on there. I want my family photos deleted. And they should give us so many hours to get our stuff deleted first.

    • Glenn Stok profile image
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      Glenn Stok 16 months ago from Long Island, NY

      RS - You're right! This is true. I see stories on the news about people posting about illegal things they did and getting caught because of making it public. It's amazing how silly some people are. As for personal beliefs on any controversial topic, it's best to keep those private.

    • profile image

      RS 16 months ago

      I wanted to delete due to the fear of my political beliefs being used against me, but I guess there is nothing I can do since FB owns everything I post. Now that I am older and wiser, I've come to realize that FB is the single greatest tool the CIA has ever had.

    • Glenn Stok profile image
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      Glenn Stok 16 months ago from Long Island, NY

      Queen_Lioness - If you forgot your password, click on the link "forgot passed" to create a new one.

    • profile image

      Queen_Lioness 16 months ago

      The problem is with me, Facebook has lock me out or some how my old account doesn't exist, yet, I still get email notifications from that Facebook account. I haven't used it, or have been able to log back into it....how do I get rid of this crazy problem????

    • Glenn Stok profile image
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      Glenn Stok 2 years ago from Long Island, NY

      CM - If you no longer have the email address you used when you created your Facebook account, and you forgot your password, then it seems your profile will forever remain as if you still existed on Facebook. I was able to get a new password because the email I used was still active. So once I was able to log in, I canceled my account and followed the steps I mentioned in this article to get the account completely removed. Thanks for your comment. It confirms that Facebook is still playing the same game to make it look like they have more users than they actually do.

    • profile image

      CM 2 years ago

      "I was actually able to get a new password to log on to my deactivated account. That was mandatory in order to get back in to delete it with their new method."

      I am having the same problem as you with an account I thought I had deleted 5 years ago still searchable by others. How did you get a new password when it doesn't recognise your email address or name?

    • Glenn Stok profile image
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      Glenn Stok 2 years ago from Long Island, NY

      DzyMsLizzy - Yes that's right. When you connect Facebook to other sites via a Facebook logon then it's much more difficult to cancel the Facebook account. But since you are using it for well-deserved purposes, that's not a problem for you. It's only an issue for those who want to try to get away from it. Thanks for the vote up.

    • DzyMsLizzy profile image

      Liz Elias 2 years ago from Oakley, CA

      Wow--what a ridiculous rigamaroll!

      I am on Facebook; I use it to stay in touch with far-flung friends and family, not all of whom bother to write letters or send e-mails.

      I also use it as my political action platform, trying to spread information and education about what the government is up to.

      I'm not looking to delete my account, but your tale is nonetheless at once interesting and concerning.

      Does that 14-day period mean not even logging into HP, because they have a FB button? I don't even KNOW all the different places I may have signed on using FB login...and truthfully, there are not that many; I rarely do that. I usually join sites independently...it's just that I don't recall which are the few that I may have at one time logged in using FB. Which in turn, apparently means, I could never delete my account even if I wanted to.

      I guess this explains the still-visible, semi-active accounts I see for a couple of people I know to be deceased!

      Voted up, interesting and useful.

    • Glenn Stok profile image
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      Glenn Stok 3 years ago from Long Island, NY

      envivolili - I realize you are saying that you are just trying to delete a page, but that is against the terms you accepted when you opened your account. The terms state that everything you post in Facebook becomes their property. Many people don't read the fine print. But agreement to the terms is made by using the account. Your only choice is to delete the account. if you have any activity during those 14 days then your request to cancel your Facebook account will be nullified. So you need to be sure no one posts to your wall. You also have to undo all 'likes' that you might have done prior.

    • profile image

      envivolili 3 years ago

      Ong...Thank you so much.. I was spinning my wheels for months trying to figure out what I had done wrong...I am trying to delete a couple BAND fan pages I used to manage for an EX boyfriend.. those bands no longer exist and he and I would very much like NOT to be linked by the common administration of these defunct pages. We both have FB profiles that we are not trying to delete.. just the pages.. but I did the 14 day waiting period and they are still there.. I have FI on my android and my I pad and yes both are on and active 24/7... is there any way to unlink those pages to my personal account? It's maddening...

    • profile image

      Darren 3 years ago

      As you said, the profile still shows and even marks as sending friend request, has no pics or info but is there with the same name I left. What a bunch of fake privacy policy, should be called piracy policy.

    • Glenn Stok profile image
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      Glenn Stok 4 years ago from Long Island, NY

      Zeta - Based on their privacy policy, you will have to accept the fact that anything you put out there is no longer your property. The best you can do is not log on anymore after requesting to delete your account as I explain in this article. Eventually your account may be removed and later it will be removed from search engines. But this can take a long time and if anyone adds anything to your Facebook wall, your account will not be deleted.

    • profile image

      Zeta 4 years ago

      Read with interest, scary thing. Now what to do to make my facebook profile invisible in other search engines? I have this setting off as they advice but it still shows there...

    • Glenn Stok profile image
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      Glenn Stok 4 years ago from Long Island, NY

      Lydia - the only way to stop the emails is to log back not your Facebook account an turn off all notifications. Of course the side effect is that your account will be reactivated by doing so. But then you can go through the complete delete request process again. The other option is to find out if you can program your mail program to ignore any mail from Facebook. Or send it directly to your spam folder.

    • profile image

      Lydia 4 years ago

      Thanks for answering, but as far as I know, I am totally removed from facebook, at least my friends say I'm gone, I do know that facebook had all those hidden policies, which even if I did read, I had no clue what it all meant until it was too late! I just wish I knew how to stop the notifications that are still incoming, can't even move them to my spam folder, they still come to my inbox on my email!

      Before I allowed that stupid app, (forgive my language) I never received any notification via email, I had it all sent to my facebook, now just before I deleted my account, this had to happen! Frustration is the least of what I feel right now.

      Short of changing/deleting my email and getting a new one, I have no idea what to do....

      You mentioned something about digging through anything remaining that I may have forgotten, where would this be? on facebook? because no way am I going back there, guess I'll have to live with it.

      And I must say that is pretty low of facebook to do such only to say they have so many ppl still with them.

      Note to self, read the small print, and find out what it actually means!

    • Glenn Stok profile image
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      Glenn Stok 4 years ago from Long Island, NY

      Lydia, The terms of service with Facebook that you agreed to when you opened your account allows Facebook to keep your data. That makes it hard to delete your account. I know most people never read that stuff. That's how they get away with it.

      They do allow full deletion as long as you don't let any of your friends access your wall for two weeks after requesting to delete your account. Any form of access such as apps or existing links in old emails need to be removed. I know it's not easy, but you need to dig through anything remaining that you may have forgotten about. They seem to make it difficult on purpose since they want to claim they have more active users than they really do.

      Good luck with it. Hope you succeed getting it deleted.

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      Lydia 4 years ago

      Hi, I recently deleted my facebook account, and as far as I know (or care) it is gone, but my problem/issue is I am still receiving notifications via my email that my friends poke me, write on my wall and stuff like that, if I do follow the link it leads me to an app which I may have activated before I left, but thought I had removed. Does anyone know how I can stop getting these notifications? I do not wish to sign up again, which seems to be the only way to let facebook know I have this issue, and I have changed my email account's password, which didn't help either. I deleted my facebook account about 3 weeks ago. any help with this would be greatly appreciated.

      the thing of it is, I never allowed apps to interact with my facebook page because of the fact that they can access my personal information, so I am not sure why this one stupid app is still active!

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      Glenn Stok 4 years ago from Long Island, NY

      Bookworm35, There are many people like you who are getting away from Facebook. I just heard that tonight on the news. Most people never read the privacy page before signing up, and they are just finding out now that they are giving away their privacy in return for using the Facebook platform. Keep a close eye on your kids as young people generally don't understand the consequences. Thanks for your comment.

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      Sheene Kirlew 4 years ago from Jamaica

      Great Article! I for one do not find Facebook to be useful or entertaining. Maybe I'm just a loner. I had an account and deleted it after about a month. My kids still have Facebook accounts, but I regularly monitor what they do on it. After deactivating my account, I thought no one would be able to see my info, but I guess I was wrong. Very informative article.

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      Glenn Stok 4 years ago from Long Island, NY

      Hi Debby, That would be a great topic for discussion, or to do an article on... What becomes of of one's Facebook Data after death. Maybe you can look into that. Interviewing some estate attorneys may be necessary. It may be something that needs to be specified in a Will to allow access by the executor. I am sure this would be a very useful topic for many people. Always a pleasure to see you around. Best wishes to you too.

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      Debby Bruck 4 years ago

      Dear Glenn - I've read through all the years of FB Struggle as they hold the reigns, rights and purse-strings on all members. I've been through the search to find how to remove from FaceBook permanently. My question is what happens when someone dies and their family does not want any personal information up there, or a person just ages out or wants to drop off the face of the virtual earth? I have written about a number of FB fiascos as they constantly change their features, set-up, privacy settings, etc. You never know what will be next as they take your data, sell it and market each person like a piece of commodity or meat. Wishing you all the best and thanks for keeping in touch. Blessings, Debby

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      Glenn Stok 4 years ago from Long Island, NY

      Ellen, you missed the section where I showed how to get your Facebook account deleted. If you follow the rules, as you have, then it does work. As you can see from many of the other comments people have been posting, it is a widespread problem. It has also been made known, when Facebook went public, that only half of the accounts are active -- which interestingly relates to the drop of Facebook's stock to half it's IPO price. See the SEC filings.

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      Ellen K. 4 years ago

      What you say isn't true. I've twice recently (past month and a half) had Facebook friends deactivate their account. When they do, they disappear. Any tags to their page disappear. They do not show up in search results. The only way I can find any evidence of their Facebook page is they still show in my friends list, but with no picture, and when I click their name, I simply get the message that their account has been deactivated. No access to their account. Not sure why your experience has been different. Either Facebook is inconsistent, or else there was some kind of either error or bad set up which has since been fixed.

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      VD 5 years ago

      Thanks for this post Glen, you saved my butt. I'm big on privacy and before the timeline came out I had spent hours, days.. deleting all of the old immature things I use to do in highschool since I was trying to build a better reputation in University - then the timeline came.. dundundundun.... and EVERYTHING from 2006 came back in a flash. I was so upset but now I know there's a way, thanks for that! And you're right, deactivation never was a way out - I used it so facebook wasn't so accessible and so it would serve to make FB less of a distraction.

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      Glenn Stok 5 years ago from Long Island, NY

      Jimmie, Thanks for your comment and explanation of your thoughts on the matter. The problem is that it's difficult to have no activity, which is required to delete your Facebook account.

      Many people I know have discovered that any activity by you or by your friends will cancel your request to delete your account.

      That is why it's best to remove your friends first. And if you used Facebook connect to login to any other site, you need to stop using that. Otherwise simply logging into any other site with Facebook connect will cancel your request.

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      Jimmie 5 years ago

      Hi Glenn,

      Thank you very much for this hub. The inability to delete a facebook account has been the topic of many a conversation between my friends and I, it is awesome to know there finally is a way.

      Just on your last comment about having to delete all friends first: I would imagine this would be unnecessary, seeing as once you type in the capture and confirm deletion of your account, thereby starting the 14-day period, your account becomes deactivated, and so your friends wouldn't be able to view your account let alone undertake any activity. At least that is my understanding of the matter.

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      Glenn Stok 5 years ago from Long Island, NY

      Ron, Thanks for confirming what I was talking about. No lawsuit however, because Facebook's privacy policy clearly states that they own your image and other data you place in your profile you are showing agreement to that when you open your account. So they can never be sued for keeping your profile after you supposedly delete it.

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      Ron 5 years ago

      I went through the process of deleting my account 1 year ago. I Googled my name, and it said I was on Facebook, but when I clicked the link, it said "Profile deleted". Great... I did it.

      I made a new account using my truck as myself(yes, my truck)this way I can add my friends, and I figure no one else will friend what looks like a trucks profile. Funny thing is, now when I type in my name from my "deleted" account,Facebook shows that I am still on their site, and even allowed me to send a friend request to my old account. Facebook then followed up by sending an Email to the address I used for my "deleted account".

      Short answer....they NEVER got rid of my info.... I smell a lawsuit!!

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      Exmoor 6 years ago

      It all comes down to a simple 'be careful what you do online'. Assume anyone can see what you post and that it's there forever. Then, pretend that and be careful what you post instead of relying on privacy settings.

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      Glenn Stok 6 years ago from Long Island, NY

      glassvisage, Do me a favor and report back here after you ask your friends to check if their accounts are still there. Or try looking them up to see if you still find them. Recently a friend of mine deleted his account and I was able to find everything about all the people on his wall still intact weeks later. Nothing was removed. I am hoping someone discovers a trick that works, so let me know what they say. Thanks for your feedback.

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      glassvisage 6 years ago from Northern California

      This is an interesting issue! I never knew this was a problem until now - I have friends who have "deleted" their account, but I'm not sure if they have ever gone back to see if their account had really disappeared. Thank you for this information and for bringing up this issue.

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      Glenn Stok 7 years ago from Long Island, NY

      Tina, Thanks for your comments and info. Although it's possible to limit what can be viewed, it seems that once you cancel your account you can't change the limit options anymore. So if someone doesn't disable all items to be viewed before canceling, then they are stuck and will forever be viewable as an existing Facebook member even though they are not.

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      TINA V 7 years ago

      This is an informative hub and the videos support it. It reminds us that social networking must be handled carefully. We must be vigilant in what we post in our wall.

      When I started using facebook, the first thing that I checked is their privacy feature. You can group your friends, limit who can search you, see your profile pix, access photo album, read your information, or check your wall post. But I did not write any information except for my name and e-mail address. So far, it did work for me. I hope this would help other users, too.

      Have a great week!

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      Karla Whitmore 7 years ago from Tucson, AZ

      If I decide to leave Facebook at some point in the future, I will change all of my info before it is "deactivated". Thank you for the information.

      Ooooh... I'm gonna get creative.

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      Carolyn Blacknall 7 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Wow. Another reminder to be careful. You can't undo anything.

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      Mary Krenz 7 years ago from Florida's Space Coast

      This hub reminds us that the internet is forever and ever. I have an account on fb, but it amazes me the things that people will share about themselves. Good job!