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3 Reasons why it's hard to quit Facebook even if you delete your account

Published Oct 7, 2021


FORMER Facebook employee Frances Haugen spoke to a Senate subcommittee this week, alleging that her ex-employer has amplified extremism and contributed to self-loathing among users, especially teen girls.

Undoubtedly, some people will see the latest horrifying news about the social networking giant and consider deleting their accounts.

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Facebook does allow you to do so, and says your data will be permanently deleted. But extricating yourself from Facebook isn’t as easy as it sounds. And even if you do manage to opt out of the company’s services, including Instagram and WhatsApp, it’s likely Facebook will have and continue to receive data about you.

Social life still happens on Facebook

You may not easily be able to extricate your social and professional life from Facebook and its other properties, like Instagram and WhatsApp, without a lot of planning.

During Monday’s Facebook outage, businesses that use Facebook and Instagram to advertise and communicate with customers found themselves suddenly cut off. Everyday users fretted they might lose their only copies of family photos or conversations (old activity, at least, can be exported from Facebook before you delete). In places where WhatsApp is the dominant texting service, people didn’t have a way to communicate with friends, family and business associates.

If your business’s customers, the PTA at your kids’ school or your elderly relatives, for example, use Facebook, it might not be simple to delete your account without having to rely on other people to relay messages for you.

If that’s not your situation, you might want to reach out to anyone whose up-to-date contact information you don’t have outside Facebook and let them know you’re leaving the platform. Of course, you’ll probably have to use Facebook to do so. If you have used Facebook to set up a page for your business, band, or book club and want that to remain accessible, you’ll need to turn it over to somebody else, or it will disappear along with your account.

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Most sites use Facebook Login

Then, you’ll also still have to think about whether you use Facebook to log in to other sites, apps and even smart devices, and whether you’ll be able to access those accounts after you get rid of Facebook.

“You won’t be able to use Facebook Login for other apps you may have signed up for with your Facebook account, like Spotify or Pinterest,” Facebook warns. “You may need to contact the apps and websites to recover those accounts.”

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If you have a virtual reality device from Facebook’s Oculus line, you should also be aware that you could lose apps and even money on the device when you delete your account.

“If you use your Facebook account to log in to Oculus, deleting your Facebook account will also delete your Oculus information,” according to the company. “This includes your app purchases and your achievements. You will no longer be able to return any apps and will lose any existing store credits.”

Read more reasons why it’s hard to quit Facebook via FastCompany

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