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Looking to ditch social media? Here's how to delete your Facebook account (permanently)

A man poses with a magnifier in front of a Facebook logo on display in this illustration. File Picture: Dado Ruvic Reuters

A man poses with a magnifier in front of a Facebook logo on display in this illustration. File Picture: Dado Ruvic Reuters

Published May 25, 2022

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Johannesburg - Whether you need a social media detox or don't find the world's most popular social network that popular anymore, deleting your Facebook profile might not be as easy as you think.

Since its inception, the Meta-owned social network has seen various changes from its humble beginnings in 2004. It showcases more advertising today than it did in its almost two-decade-long existence.

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Where Facebook timelines were once the primary means of catching up with old school friends or stalking an ex – today's feed showcases various advertising, based on internet search results.

It's no doubt that today's Facebook timeline feed has become a bit creepy, given the accuracy of advertising, based on a user's search history.

If you've had enough of looking over your social networking shoulder or even ditching stalking habits after accepting your ex won't be coming back – taking a detox from the world's most active social media platform is never a bad idea.

Before you embark on the journey to detoxify yourself from your social network shackles, there are a few important points to remember.

Facebook has two options if you're looking to “take a break” – the first is deactivating your account, which temporarily removes your account from the platform, or a complete deletion – taking your account to the point of no return.

Deactivating Facebook (temporarily)

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If you deactivate your account, you will be able to reactivate it whenever you want. However, other users will not be able to see your timeline or search for you. Some of your information may remain visible to others, like previous messages sent to other users.

Pages you manage or have created will also be temporarily disabled, along with your account.

To deactivate your account, follow these steps:

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– From your Facebook homepage on your desktop, click the drop-down arrow in the top right of the screen.

– Select “Settings & Privacy”, then click “Settings”.

– Click “Your Facebook Information” in the left column.

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– Then click “Deactivation and deletion”.

– Choose “Deactivate Account”, then click Continue to Account Deactivation, and follow the instructions to confirm.

Deleting your Facebook profile permanently

If you've decided enough is enough, and a temporary deactivation is not enough – deleting your Facebook account will bar you from ever reactivating the account again.

This step should only be taken once you're completely decided on closing your account for good. Not only will you not be able to reactivate your profile after deletion, but, like with deactivation, pages and groups you manage will be deleted too.

As a safety measure for the undecided or impulsive, Facebook delays the completion of your profile and information for 30 days. During this period, a user can reactivate a completely deleted profile.

The social network has stated that information and other content on your profile exist for 90 days after deletion, before it is completely removed. Permanently deleting your account follows similar steps to deactivate it.

To permanently delete your account:

– From your Facebook homepage on your desktop, click the drop-down arrow in the top right of the screen.

– Select “Settings & Privacy”, then click “Settings”.

– Click “Your Facebook Information” in the left column.

– Then click “Deactivation and deletion”.

– Choose “Delete Account”, then click “Continue to Account Deletion”.

– Click “Delete Account”, enter your password, and click “Continue”.

IOL Tech

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