Facebook's Deception of Deactivated Accounts

Updated on February 14, 2020
Glenn Stok profile image

Glenn Stok is a systems analyst with a Master’s Degree in Computer Science. This informative article is based on his professional insight.

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

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.

  1. You can deactivate your account, which still allows people to find your profile.
  2. 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.

Okay, I realize that the Facebook privacy policy does say that any information you enter remains. But that 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. (Since those early days of Facebook, they improved the ability to update profile information).

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:

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.

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!

Facebook's Privacy Policy

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

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!

As of December 2009, Facebook introduced some new privacy settings. But their non-privacy policy remained, as I saw my "deleted" profile was still online.

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 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

A story in the Washington Post on November 29th, 2011, mentioned that Facebook settled eight counts of privacy violations with the Federal Trade Commission. They also avoided monetary fines by agreeing to change certain aspects of the privacy policy.

I didn't see much improvement with that since they were still taking advantage of people who never read privacy policy pages on websites before signing up.

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

Previously they just had a link to deactivate your account. Facebook never provided a way to delete anything since their privacy policy said they own anything you upload and all data you enter.

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.

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 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.

 
2011
2014
2017
Dec 2019
 
 
 
 
 
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
2.5 billion
Source: 2011, 2014 Data from iStrategyLabs — 2017, 2019 Data From Zephoria.com

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.

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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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

© 2009 Glenn Stok

What Facebook problems have you had?

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    • Glenn Stok profile imageAUTHOR

      Glenn Stok 

      2 weeks ago from Long Island, NY

      Dee Ardelean - Did you miss anything I said is required to do, and to avoid doing, that I mentioned in this article? If you overlook any of those things, your account will not be deleted.

    • profile image

      Dee Ardelean 

      2 weeks ago

      I deleted my Facebook account along with 2 pages a few years ago and one of my pages still shows up, but there isn’t any activity on it. I’ve reported it as a fake account to facebook. Is there anything else I can do?

    • Susan Ng profile image

      Susan Ng Yu 

      3 weeks ago

      I'm one of those people who never reads the long terms of service.

      So Facebook now has my wedding photos, old travel photos, and pictures of my cats. I wonder what they do with our deleted photos?

    • Glenn Stok profile imageAUTHOR

      Glenn Stok 

      3 weeks ago from Long Island, NY

      Susan Ng Yu - Facebook keeps everything even after you delete them. You agreed to that when you opened your account. It’s in the terms of service. You do have the right to cancel your account. But you gave them the right to keep the data.

    • Glenn Stok profile imageAUTHOR

      Glenn Stok 

      3 weeks ago from Long Island, NY

      george doh - If the profile isn’t shown when you search for it, then you proved that your request to cancel your account has been completed. Don’t log in again, or you will keep undoing that.

    • Susan Ng profile image

      Susan Ng Yu 

      3 weeks ago

      I've never tried to deactivate my account so I didn't know it was that hard.

      What about photos that I've uploaded but then deleted after a few years, does Facebook also keep that?

    • profile image

      george doh 

      4 weeks ago

      So in that case,what im supposed to do?I have to wait another 30 days?

      Like i said,the profile isnt shown if you search for it.

    • Glenn Stok profile imageAUTHOR

      Glenn Stok 

      4 weeks ago from Long Island, NY

      Yes George. You logged in too soon. You should never log in! Even after the deletion occurs, if you log in, you will reset your account to active again.

    • profile image

      george doh 

      4 weeks ago

      No i havent,the account wasnt so active.

      Point is i cant find it on the internet,my profile doesnt show up in facebook.

      I cant log in back into my account either way,when i click "cancel deletion" it says that there was something wrong,and it lets me only to continue deletion button,and then log out.

      I believe i tried to see if it got deleted too soon,as i said the deletion was meant to be on 3rd of june,but i checked to see if it got deleted on 5th of june.Could be that the case?

    • Glenn Stok profile imageAUTHOR

      Glenn Stok 

      4 weeks ago from Long Island, NY

      george doh - Had you “liked” any other websites or groups. You’ll have to remove all those likes. In addition, if you ever logged into other sites using Facebook, you’ll have to cancel those accounts.

    • profile image

      george doh 

      4 weeks ago

      I understand what you saying,but i logged after the 30 days,not before that.What i am supposed to do now?

    • Glenn Stok profile imageAUTHOR

      Glenn Stok 

      4 weeks ago from Long Island, NY

      George Doh - Every time you log in you are causing your cancel request to be removed from the queue.

    • profile image

      george doh 

      4 weeks ago

      hi,same situation as darren,

      it was meant to be deleted on 3rd of june,but i still get the same message as darren while we are on 5th of june

      when i click "cancel deletion" it says there was a problem

      i tried to click on the cancel deletion to see if it behaves differently so i can try to delete again

      maybe it takes some additional time to be deleted fully as not being accessible via log in?

      notice il ogged in just in today to see if it got deleted

    • profile image

      Darren 

      3 months ago

      Just to let you know - it's deleted now. Thank you, Glenn.

    • Glenn Stok profile imageAUTHOR

      Glenn Stok 

      3 months ago from Long Island, NY

      Darren - Did you follow every step I outlined here? If you log back in, you will cancel the request to delete your account. If you have any Facebook likes on other sites, that will cause it to remain also.

    • profile image

      Darren 

      3 months ago

      My Facebook account should have been permanently deleted 4 days ago, on March 4th.

      However, if I go to the login page, it says this:

      "Your Account Is Scheduled For Deletion on Mar 4, 2020. If you want to cancel the deletion of your account or retrieve any of the content or information you have added, click Cancel Deletion. Otherwise, Facebook will start deleting your account in 1 day. After Mar 4, 2020, you won't be able to access the account or any of the content you added."

      It then asks me if I want to cancel my deletion (today is March 8th)! My account shouldn't even exist any more!

    • Glenn Stok profile imageAUTHOR

      Glenn Stok 

      3 months ago from Long Island, NY

      Bhaben barman - If it’s only deactivated and not deleted, then all you need to do is log in again. Logging in will reactivate your account.

    • profile image

      Bhaben barman 

      3 months ago

      I want to recover my deactivated Facebook account which had been done 9 months ago. Please advice.

    • Glenn Stok profile imageAUTHOR

      Glenn Stok 

      5 months ago from Long Island, NY

      Angie - No, you can't. All the data has been removed for online access.

    • profile image

      Angie 

      5 months ago

      Can you reactivate an old Facebook account that you made year's ago but permanently deleted and you followed the 14day you had to wait

    • Glenn Stok profile imageAUTHOR

      Glenn Stok 

      17 months ago from Long Island, NY

      James - Good. You did it right as I explained.

    • profile image

      James 

      17 months ago

      Who wrote this? No, deactivating your account is the same as disappearing. I've had my account deactivated for the better part of a year and I've had plenty of friends asking if I blocked them. Obviously not able to look for me. Plus just google your name + facebook, it doesn't show up.

    • Glenn Stok profile imageAUTHOR

      Glenn Stok 

      17 months ago from Long Island, NY

      Liza - You can remove all connections to the sites by going to your settings in FB and select “Apps and Websites” to see all those sites you logged into with FB. You can remove them in that menu.

    • profile image

      Liza 

      17 months ago

      Thanks for reply but I don't know how to disconnect FB from WhatsApp and how to remove all relationships. Can you please tell me how to do this?

    • Glenn Stok profile imageAUTHOR

      Glenn Stok 

      22 months ago from Long Island, NY

      Thanks for your comment Natalie. I also deactivated my Facebook account a couple of times. I have friends to decided to get out entirely.

      I also see the same problem you had mentioned with friend requests from people I don't know. Some are from other Hubbers, and I try to track them to see if that's the case.

      I approve Hubbers if I recognize the name from prior comments in my hubs. But if they just try to friend me because they see I'm listed as a friend of someone else, they are just trying to build up a friend list.

      When I see they have a thousand friends, it's obvious that they are a not truly interested in me and I decline the request.

      Eventually I might quit Facebook completely.

    • Natalie Frank profile image

      Natalie Frank 

      22 months ago from Chicago, IL

      I have deactivated my account numerous times as I really don't use it except to send HP articles to but now with the changes probably won't bother with that anymore either. Whenever I log back on not only do I have new friend requests I always have a group of people I've never heard of who have accepted friend requests I never made especially since I had deactivated my account. There are some weird things that go on with FB and I hope we don't find out there are really problematic consequences somewhere down the road. Thanks for writing such a useful article.

    • Glenn Stok profile imageAUTHOR

      Glenn Stok 

      2 years ago from Long Island, NY

      Sea Bee - Facebook does not commit identity theft. You made accusations in your previous post that you stated as fact rather than your own opinion.

      However, some of the things you mention may be true, subject to the terms of service you agreed to when you signed up.

      The rules are changing, adding more privacy protection, as people are discovering that they overlooked the terms when they originally started using Facebook. Most people never read those agreements, which is unfortunate, and is how Facebook was able to do what is only now being discovered. But identity theft is not one of them.

    • profile image

      Sea Bee 

      2 years ago

      Mr. Stok,

      As you know I have read and responded to your blog.

      You initially allowed my posts, responded to it, them deleted them without stated cause.

      I believe your blog misinforms users regarding facebook previous and current practices covering effects of permanent deletion accounts.

      One: FB does not permanently delete accounts, they change the account password which prevents the user from logging in or confirming the account has been permanently deleted.

      Have found it's easy to confirm this by having a previous fb friend search the so-called permanently deleted account. They remain visible without activity. They keep and use peoples names without authorization and profiles which props up their fb numbers and adds to advertisement funds.

      FYI fb permanently deleted accounts are not deactivated accounts. They can't be reactivated by logging back in after the waiting period. That's the meaning of "Permanent" Moreover, It's only permanent for the user who created the account. Others on fb can still view the permanently deleted account, they just can't become friends with it or post on it. Recommend you revisit your research, reach out to those who have properly permanently deleted their accounts and their waiting period has expired to confirm their accounts remain visible and unusable with exception of FB collecting advertisement from them.

      I believe Facebook is committing fraud. Facebook does not have the right to use real peoples names without their permission. They revoked that permission when they permanently deleted their accounts. It is called impersonation and identity theft and defrauding advertisers.

    • Glenn Stok profile imageAUTHOR

      Glenn Stok 

      2 years ago from Long Island, NY

      Euniqua - Check to be sure you were not hacked. Did you ever visit an unknown site via a link in a email? Did you run a malware check on your computer? If it was recent, someone may have gotten your logon information by one of these means.

      Try changing your password to get your account back. As you know, you can still log in again after deleting an account, and this will reactivate it. Accounts are not completely deleted, they are just deactivated under present terms of service. However, some people say they discovered that after an extended period, they do become totally deleted.

    • profile image

      Euniqua 

      2 years ago

      Somebody deleted my account but it wasn’t me how can i get my account back if they deleted it permently

    • Glenn Stok profile imageAUTHOR

      Glenn Stok 

      2 years ago from Long Island, NY

      Jai garg - The answer to your questions is in FB's prior terms of service which you agreed to when you signed up, although they have now changed them to be more in favor of the user.

    • profile image

      Jai garg 

      2 years ago

      Very informative; and I will add what I feel about FB....,Disabling an account is fine as long as one can remove ones uploaded data which no site has a right to hold back or use.

      Today Facebook is using its discretion in self interest to disable user accounts and not delete them going against the users rights. Disgusting terms even on user complaints from other users as anyone can easily block.

      Remember next time you sign up for a FB account never post your data just socialise and walk away keeping in mind FB will use all your personal data against anyone even after you are dead.

      For now they have data collecting centre’s and FB must be banned by governments around the world.

      Facebook has become the most dangerous tool in the hands of a few people and no one seems to be doing anything about it.

      So next time you want a FB account say NEVER.... and when you die ..... wish that all the FB goons go to hell!

      Just forget about your losses and hard work and remember never to post any material you have created; I had made this mistake created I’ve four pages and was updating them so that my data would be safe and retrieval but FB disables my user account on what ever the reasons… why they don’t delete is a good question I want to ask anyone who can answer.

      Learnt a lesson and deleted years of post on flicker as it is being taken over by Sum Dog another one like FB ? Idk.

    • profile image

      Jeff Robarge 

      2 years ago

      Just recently made my first attempt to totally delete my fb account and did get the 14 day delay notice. I have not tried to log in since that. I will wait about 3 weeks to check the status as is suggested in this blog; hopefully not having all the issues you experienced.

      Oddly enough, since my attempt to deactivate, I have come across these odd little fb page pop ups indicating some kind of sweepstakes or something like that. Not sure if it's some deceptive way of keeping me tied in to the account I want deleted or just the website I was viewing at the time.

      I regret having ever signed up with fb, and now since all this crap about fb and Russia and that, I have come to utterly despise this and every other social media company out there.

      Sure hope to solve these problems with my fb experience and can get back to my previous state of anonymity on the internet; if there even is such a thing in this world anymore.

      Thanks for sharing your experince in this blog.

    • Glenn Stok profile imageAUTHOR

      Glenn Stok 

      2 years ago from Long Island, NY

      Qwertypop - That problem with Amazon Pop-ups has been reported. It never happened before but I got some too recently.

      The issue with Facebook is ongoing since they went public, which is why I wrote this article at that time. I agree with you that it's not right.

    • profile image

      Qwertypop 

      2 years ago

      Wow - this is my third attempt and rewrite of my response to you Glenn. This website continues to have Amazon winning pop-ups that take over. I experienced this when I was initially reading your article and it continues now that I have created a login in order to communicate with you on this subject matter. This is really a problem. I don’t think this website is secure.

      For hopefully the last time - thank you for your reply. I 100% know my user email but do not know my password. All efforts through Facebook to search, recover, and find my former Facebook account result in information not found. I have tried my primary email address, my back up email address, and my telephone number. None of those are found associated with any account.

      I get that Facebook legally has my information, but they are not honoring the deletion of my account and are fraudulently showing me as an active user when I am not. I resent the fact that my name shows up associated with Facebook. This is not right.

    • Glenn Stok profile imageAUTHOR

      Glenn Stok 

      2 years ago from Long Island, NY

      Qwertypop - The response you got from Google is the normal reply because Google has no authority to control what webmasters do with their site.

      According to the agreement you accepted when you originally signed up for Facebook, you gave full rights to your data to them. That is why they keep it on file even when you close your account. I realize that most people don’t read those agreements, but that doesn’t change the legal issue.

      The best you can do is disconnect all references. You may have missed removing some “likes” of other sites.

      In addition, if you ever used your Facebook account to log into other accounts, you need to beak those ties too. I know you said you never did this, but I’m just mentioning it anyway for others who read this and who may have similar problems.

      Whenever you see the option to login with Facebook, it’s safer to create a new user and password for those other sites. They have nothing to do with Facebook anyway.

      You said you deleted all the info you could, but if you missed anything that connects with other sites, it will be the reason why your account is still active.

      I know this is very troubling. It’s strange that you can’t log in. I knew of others who logged in after a year and that caused it to become active again. Are you sure you’re using the same user and password as you had before? That’s the only thing I can suggest as this point.

    • profile image

      Qwertypop 

      2 years ago

      Hi Glenn, I appreciate that you are still responding to this thread.

      I permanently deleted my FB account approximately 4 years ago. To this day, an internet search of my name still shows I have an active Facebook account. It shows my name and hometown only.

      Today I submitted this problem to Google, and their response to the url I provided is that the “site owner needs to take down or update the content.” Which tells me FB still has my profile “up.”

      I have used my spouses FB account to submit the problem, but as you know, they don’t and won’t respond.

      I have had no other issues others have mentioned.

      I just want my name and association removed!

      In reviewing your steps for deletion after the fact, pretty sure I’d removed my phone app immediately. Certainly never logged back in. While using, I “liked” things people posted, but never, ever used my FB account to login to any other account. I did delete all of my photos and maybe some other things, but I can’t recall. Knowing me, I’m sure I deleted as much information as I could. My privacy settings were always tight. I hated FB even while I used it.

      Otherwise, I can’t login, e-mail user doesn’t exist, so it seems essentially dead.

      Any advice?

      The very topic of FB makes my blood boil. It is such a disgusting thing.

    • Glenn Stok profile imageAUTHOR

      Glenn Stok 

      2 years ago from Long Island, NY

      Matthew - They most likely already know both accounts belong to you. If you created them and continued accessing them from the same computer, your IP address has been recorded and matches both accounts.

    • profile image

      Matthew 

      2 years ago

      Thanks for the insight!

      The way the two accounts were configured had been that the Primary one is linked to a Hotmail account, while the Secondary one had been linked to my cellphone number. I did not include the cell number in the Primary's account information, enabling the illusion of having two different, independent "Matthews."

      Anyway, my purpose of disposing my accounts is purely making myself transparent to the world, not necessarily targeting Facebook.com in particular - although that would be especially nice!

      If I decide to dispose of my primary account, I have friends whom could let me see their own FB accounts status.

    • Glenn Stok profile imageAUTHOR

      Glenn Stok 

      2 years ago from Long Island, NY

      Matthew - I actually just helped a friend terminate his account last month. The message said 14 days. I never saw a message that says it may take up to 90 days, but the keywords are “up to” - so it still can be as little as 14 days.

      The other thing is that you keep,checking from one account to th either. I’m not sure if that will cause activity related delays. Facebook is known to cancel the request if you have any activity after trying to cancel your account. So the best thing is to ignore it and leave it alone.

      The canceled account becomes totally hidden from view of anybody who looks for you. It works well as long as you don’t have an connections to other active sites, which is why you need to remove all your “likes” before cancelling.

    • profile image

      Matthew 

      2 years ago

      I tried using your link on a desktop PC, and I got some interesting results. I had two Facebook accounts, one Primary and another, Secondary. The Secondary one is the one I got rid of so far.

      First, now Facebook's warning message states that the account member's data termination can be up to 90 days, unlike your 14. However, once clicked on the icon for termination, another window came up, this time saying that it would be 14 days, like your findings.

      Second, this time being logged into the Primary account with the desktop, a laptop and a phone, to see the effect. With both the desktop and the laptop, it was that my Secondary account was still present, clustered in "My Friends" list. But when I clicked on it, an icon came up saying, "Account Inactive," "This account has been deactivated. Only you can see Matthew on your friends list. You have the option of to 'unfriend Matthew'." Unlike those two platforms, when I looked on the phone, my Secondary account had been 100%completely removed, as requested.

      Do my findings consist with other people's from your personal experience? Any additional thoughts?

      Thanks so much!

    • Glenn Stok profile imageAUTHOR

      Glenn Stok 

      2 years ago from Long Island, NY

      Laura, As you said, they probably are still keeping things around to keep the numbers up. I guess that attitude still never changed.

    • profile image

      Laura 

      2 years ago

      I've a couple of issues with Facebook. I've tried to delete a group I created. It did come up with a 14 days to delete message and left it at that. Now when I go to the group I'm no longer an admin bit it is still very much there. Also I had created a business profile (naughty me) they have requested ID and still am waiting for reply. Some months now too. In this time created two more accounts to try advertise without using my own profile but quickly they are flagged and suspended pending ID. They don't reply and still I'm receiving email notifications for the accounts although I can't see the accounts at all when I search. How can I stop these if the accounts are properly closed? I guess these are being secretly kept as they can't be searched for but clearly still active somewhere presumably to help keep the numbers up

    • Glenn Stok profile imageAUTHOR

      Glenn Stok 

      2 years ago from Long Island, NY

      Nijat - As I mentioned in this article, you need to avoid any activity. The fact that you left the setting that allows friends to tag you, is allowing activity.

      You need to change all your settings to disable any ability to do anything. This includes posting to your timeline, tagging, etc. If you had liked any sites other than Facebook, you also need to undo those likes.

    • profile image

      Nijat 

      2 years ago

      Hi Gleen Stok.

      I just wanna get some advise)

      Because I didn't find any way to contact with facebook.

      22/12/2017 I permanently deleted my account. 14 passed I never logged in. Now I log in my account it says your account will be deleted 04/01/2018. already 4 days gone but facebook still shows me 4 january my account will be deleted. I cannot access my account. They say it is unable to do it. But my friends on facebook still see my profile, still tag me. My account totally visible for everyone. This is so disgusting. I don't wanna people see my profile, How can I find a way to solve this problem, facebook really doesn't care I wrote the mail, I reported many times. Could you please help me what to do.

      thanks in advance Glenn

    • Glenn Stok profile imageAUTHOR

      Glenn Stok 

      2 years ago from Long Island, NY

      Nihal - It sounds to me like you received emails from a hacker. You didn’t say if you tried to login by clicking a link in those emails. If you did, you probably went to a fake Facebook site that looked like the real thing.

      If you entered your username and password, then you just gave it to the hacker.

      Of course it would not let you log in because it’s not the real Facebook. But the hacker can now log into your actual account and change the password so you no longer can get access.

      If you did indeed follow a link from an email, try to get back in and change the password before the hacker does. Or it may be too late.

      Never, ever, follow a link in an email. That is an absolute no-no.

    • profile image

      Nihal 

      2 years ago

      Hi Glenn,

      i really enjoyed reading your article :)

      but may i ask a not related question?

      facebook keeps on sending me emails about notification, but when i try to login, it says that:

      You can't log in at the moment

      We'll get in touch with you shortly after we've reviewed it. You'll now be logged out of Facebook as a security precaution.

      i don't know what does that mean? i tried to fill the form for disabled account, but they told me that my account isn't disabled..

      do you have any recommendation i can do so that i can be able to login back?

      thank you in advance and sorry for asking a non-related question.

    • Glenn Stok profile imageAUTHOR

      Glenn Stok 

      2 years ago from Long Island, NY

      Amanda - Many sites (not related to Facebook) give you the option of logging in with your Facebook account instead of creating a username and password. If you ever had done any of that, you need to undo them.

    • profile image

      Amanda 

      2 years ago

      Hi Glenn,

      Thank you for this information. You said in your post:

      "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."

      Can you give me an idea of what some of those more common apps may be? I have deleted messenger and the facebook app, but I am not sure what other apps or social media outlets Facebook owns.

      Thank you!

    • Glenn Stok profile imageAUTHOR

      Glenn Stok 

      2 years ago from Long Island, NY

      Shahana - I don’t work for Facebook. There is no way I have access to their database.

    • profile image

      Shahana 

      2 years ago

      From reading this aticle I understood that Facebook accounts never get deleted. So please can you confirm that my Facebook account is OK - Facebook removed my account but I believe they can restore it and it will be found the way I had left it.

    • Glenn Stok profile imageAUTHOR

      Glenn Stok 

      2 years ago from Long Island, NY

      Kailee - If it were just one account I would think you just ran into someone who didn’t set up their profile. But since it’s happening to many accounts you look at, it might have something to do with settings in your browser.

    • profile image

      Kailee 

      2 years ago

      Hi I have a question. What are all of the blank accounts that show up in search but when you click on it there’s no photo or timeline or any information whatsoever aside from a name?

    • Glenn Stok profile imageAUTHOR

      Glenn Stok 

      2 years ago from Long Island, NY

      Sasha Rogers - How do you know it’s back in a few hours unless you looked at it. It’s possible that access from your IP address is enough to keep it active, even though you are not logging in again.

    • profile image

      Sasha Rogers 

      2 years ago

      I gave Tried to delete my Facebook page twice. And for some reason a few hours after deletion it pops back up again. I haven’t tried accessing it or anything. What can I do?

    • profile image

      Melis 

      2 years ago

      I deleted my FB account one week ago and my name is neither shown up on search/friend list nor google except for FB chat but that is a different story as they doesn't have to work simultaneously.

      Although I'm pretty sure that every data I put in FB (even though I deleted afterwards) from the beginning is stored for govermental purposes which is same for everybody. Son, in this respect deleting a FB account will only give you a virtual peace of mind and nothing more.

    • Glenn Stok profile imageAUTHOR

      Glenn Stok 

      2 years ago from Long Island, NY

      Laura, a friend of mine canceled his Facebook account and two months later he changed his mind. He thought he had to create a new account but I told him to try logging in with his old user and password. He discovered that everything came back just as he had left it.

      I can’t be sure how he cancelled his account because I didn’t do it. I can only assume that he did it the same way as you had.

    • profile image

      laura 

      2 years ago

      Thank you for answering me.

      Its true that Some data may remain in facebook servre, BUT!!! When the 14 days ended there is no way to access the account, Or recovre it ( once it has been deleted,NOT deactivate!) Thats what I understand from facebook team.

      There is diffrence between deletion and deactivate.

      When the account has been deactive you can simply log in and everything will be the same. Unlike deletion process that you won't be able to log in again when the 14 days has ended!

    • Glenn Stok profile imageAUTHOR

      Glenn Stok 

      2 years ago from Long Island, NY

      Laura, Sounds like you already confirmed it yourself since you say your name doesn’t appear in friend's lists or in search. Just remember that you will undo the deleted account and reestablish it if you ever log in again.

      If you read the terms of service when you first opened your account you will understand that nothing is ever really removed from the server.

    • profile image

      laura 

      2 years ago

      I meant that I have deleted my Facebook account permanently (for ever) and the 14 days has passed. And my name doesn't shows in search results or in friends lists. I wanted to be sure if the account has really deleted.

    • Glenn Stok profile imageAUTHOR

      Glenn Stok 

      2 years ago from Long Island, NY

      Laura - It never is totally deleted because you gave Facebook rights to your content when you approved the terms of service when you first opened your account. I know most people never read those rules, but that doesn’t change the facts.

      It will simply remain deactivated. If you log in you will reactivate your account.

    • profile image

      laura 

      2 years ago

      Hi, I asked you how to be sure if my FaceBook account has detleted.. not just deactive?

      ( my name doesn't show in search or friends list)

      I'm afraid to log in. Althogh the 14 days has ended .

    • Glenn Stok profile imageAUTHOR

      Glenn Stok 

      2 years ago from Long Island, NY

      Pondok Indah - The problem is that your wife agreed to the terms of service when she opened the account, stating that Facebook has rights to the content she uploaded.

      She does have the right to delete her pics, but nothing much can be done if she lost her own logon info. That information should always be treated like gold and stored safely somewhere. I’m just saying that for future reference.

    • profile image

      Pondok Indah 

      2 years ago

      Help! My wife's old fb account was deactivated circa 5 years ago. It suddenly reappeared a few weeks ago. It even posted some ads of which my wife takes no part of. She did report to fb but they said they didn't find it in violation.. (what?! These are old pics of my wife that she wanted gone!)

      Unfortunately she can't login back cuz she forgot the email and password. Is it possible that it had been hacked? Please let us know what we should do to permanently delete this as it is infuriating that the public can see this. Many thanks.

    • Glenn Stok profile imageAUTHOR

      Glenn Stok 

      2 years ago from Long Island, NY

      Laura - Since you didn’t delete all your prior messages before requesting to delete your account, they will remain forever.

      The terms of service that you read and agreed to when you signed up state that they own the rights to anything you put in your account. If you go back in to delete those messages you will automatically be reinstating your account, and you will have to start over with the deletion process.

    • Glenn Stok profile imageAUTHOR

      Glenn Stok 

      2 years ago from Long Island, NY

      Geekerella - I understand that based on your business it’s best not to even have a Facebook account since their terms of service require use of a real name. You can delete your account by carefully following all the steps I explained in this article.

    • profile image

      laura 

      2 years ago

      Hi ,

      I have deleted my facebook(the 14 days ends today). And My account doesnt show on search or in friends lists. But only my name still shows on messages with friends but they cant send me any messages and they cant see my profile or timeline.

      How I can be sure if it deleted forever and not just deactive.?

      Thank you.

    • profile image

      Geekerella 

      2 years ago

      Hello Glenn,

      Really great article. I have a question. My fb account was suspended over the real name policy. I can't log into it unless I provide official ID. If I do that they will convert the account to my real name and I don't want that. I volunteer in the criminal justice system and I don't want my friends and family put at risk so I don't put photos online or use my real name in case somebody recognises me and targets them. Is there a way to get my account deleted? I would rather not reinstate it. There is no easy way to contact facebook and make that simple request that I can see. Hope you have an answer.

    • Glenn Stok profile imageAUTHOR

      Glenn Stok 

      2 years ago from Long Island, NY

      Marlen - Same problem I keep referencing with all the other comments. See the other responses for more info. Your situation is no different.

    • profile image

      Marlen 

      2 years ago

      I request to delete my facebook permanently, it has scheduled to deletion but it’s still visible to friends

      I tried to log in to be sure it still scheduled .. it says my profile will be deleted nov. 10.

      I got 2 options: 1 to confirm deletion ..and the 2 to cancel deletion. So I click on confirm deletion.

      And log out . Without access to my profile. Today is November 10 and my profile still there.

    • Glenn Stok profile imageAUTHOR

      Glenn Stok 

      2 years ago from Long Island, NY

      Marlen, Did you follow everything I said? Did you ever like pages on other sites and forgot to unlike them? Did you ever log into another account using your Facebook? If so, you need to undo that account first. This are two things that people usually miss.

    • profile image

      Marlen 

      2 years ago

      Facebook didn’t delete my account as they say on November 10. Why ? I still can see my profile in the search results. And everything is the same. Only my profile pic was removed.

      Can you help me, please? (I haven’t try to log in)

    • profile image

      JM Bell 

      2 years ago

      I am quitting because I have had enough with their censorship, shadow banning, and Facebook jail. It will be the new Myspace in a couple years. "What's Myspace?" Exactly.

      "And nothing of value was lost."

    • Glenn Stok profile imageAUTHOR

      Glenn Stok 

      2 years 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

      2 years 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 

      2 years 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 imageAUTHOR

      Glenn Stok 

      2 years 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 

      2 years 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 imageAUTHOR

      Glenn Stok 

      2 years 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 

      2 years 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 

      2 years 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.

    • profile image

      annie 

      2 years ago

      thanks for responding, glenn!

    • Glenn Stok profile imageAUTHOR

      Glenn Stok 

      2 years 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 

      2 years 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 imageAUTHOR

      Glenn Stok 

      3 years 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 years 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 

      3 years ago

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

      Phe.

    • Glenn Stok profile imageAUTHOR

      Glenn Stok 

      3 years 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 

      3 years 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 imageAUTHOR

      Glenn Stok 

      3 years 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 

      3 years 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 imageAUTHOR

      Glenn Stok 

      3 years 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 

      3 years 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 imageAUTHOR

      Glenn Stok 

      3 years 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 

      3 years 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 imageAUTHOR

      Glenn Stok 

      3 years 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 

      3 years 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 imageAUTHOR

      Glenn Stok 

      4 years 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 

      4 years 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 imageAUTHOR

      Glenn Stok 

      4 years ago from Long Island, NY

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

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