Is it time to #DeleteFacebook? The social allowed the private information of 50 million users to be harvested by Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, and outraged users want to log off – for good. Here’s how.
#DeleteFacebook started trending on March 21 amid the revelations that Cambridge Analytica, a data firm hired by Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, used the data collected from 50 million Facebook users “build a software solution to help influence choice in elections,” according to CNBC. Cambridge Analytica, founded by right-winger Bob Mercer, is accused of using this data to deliver pro-Trump/anti-Hillary Clinton messages to voters during the 2016 election. Oh, there’s more to this scandal than that. Yet, for those who don’t want to wait and want to avoid having their private data mined for corporations and politicians, here’s how to delete your Facebook profile.
1. Don’t delete without downloading first. Don’t just delete your profile. Your Facebook account contains archives full of your photos, active sessions, chat history, IP addresses, facial recognition data, and which ads you clicked, according to The Verge. It’s good to get this information before you delete everything. To download your archive, go to SETTINGS. Then, click DOWNLOAD A COPY OF YOUR FACEBOOK DATA, located at the bottom of the General Account Settings. Click START MY ARCHIVE. Once that’s all download, you can delete your account.
2. DELETE. EVERYTHING. So, Facebook doesn’t have a DELETE MY ACCOUNT option in its settings, probably because it doesn’t want you to delete your account. In order to delete your Facebook account, you have to click this link. It takes you to a page that gives you a warning against deleting your account because ONCE YOU DELETE YOUR ACCOUNT, IT CANNOT BE RECOVERED. If you still want to go through with it, click DELETE MY ACCOUNT and your profile will be marked for termination.
3. Don’t log on – or do, if you have second thoughts. Facebook delays termination for a few days after someone requests their account to be deleted. This gives people a chance to rethink their decision. Not terribly upset that a right-wing data firm acquired your personal information through questionable means to help the Donald Trump presidential campaign? Just log back on after you submit your deletion request and the process will be cancelled.
Facebook says it takes up to 90 days to fully delete your account. Certain things, like comments on posts, might still appear even after you delete your account. Oh, also remember that Facebook owns Instagram and WhatsApp. So, you might want to delete those accounts as well.
So, what’s this latest scandal about? Aleksandr Kogan, a Russian-American academic at Cambridge University, got permission from Facebook to harvest data through an app he created, according to VOX’s timeline of the scandal. “thisismydigitallife” was a personality quiz used by more than 270,000 people who gave the app permission to their information. However, through a loophole in the system, Kogan collected up to 50 million raw profiles. Cambridge Analytica, a data firm founded by the conservative Robert Mercer and Steve Bannon, was reportedly behind Kogan’s operation.
Facebook learned about the violation in 2015 and got “assurances” from Kogan and Cambridge that they deleted that data, but a whistleblower claims that is not the truth. Cambridge Analytica was employed by the Trump Campaign, and with talks that they reached out to WikiLeaks over the hacked Democratic emails and may have had ties with the Russians, it doesn’t look good for them OR Facebook. Users are mad that the social network didn’t do more to secure their data, and Facebook’s business model of selling your information to advertisers has many ready to #DeleteFacebook for good.