Facebook’s been all over the news the last couple days. A UK data firm named Cambridge Analytica to harvest over 50 million Facebook accounts and help sway our last presidential election.*
I’m not going to get into the nitty-gritty details. That darn 2016 election never seemed to end, and we can’t get a news cycle without a cavalcade of new and more torrid information shoved down our throats.
Social media’s evolved from a place where your great-aunt regularly shares pictures of her cat (thanks, Aunt Thelma!) to being a weaponized tool leveraged by domestic and foreign powers.
As a digital marketing manager, I must seek out and publish new content for all eternity. A modern-day Sisyphus; forever resigned to pushing a boulder complied of 140 characters or less up a steep and windy hill, only to watch it roll back down to the bottom upon reaching the top.
But you my friends can escape the harsh cold fate that comes from being entangled in social media forever. Facebook, despite all of their shortcomings, allows you the ability to delete your profile altogether.
WARNING: Deleting your Facebook account is a serious decision and one you have to prepare for (mentally and physically). The lotus-eaters in your life (aka friends and family) who are still on the social media platform will be confused and possibly concerned regarding your decision to leave.
If you’re expecting some convoluted, multi-step process to delete your Facebook account, you’re in for a treat. Honestly, all you have to do is click this link: https://www.facebook.com/help/delete_account
Once you step through the process, Facebook gives you up to 30 days to log back in and reverse the decision. Also, if you’ve got any accounts linked to Facebook (i.e., Instagram) that you continue to use, your Facebook account will be reactivated. You’ve got to unlink each account manually if you want to keep using them separately.
If you’re interested you can download a copy of the information Facebook has on you. Since it’s PII Data we recommend keeping it in a secure place if you decide to keep a copy of it.
The Right to be Forgotten
It could be Facebook is making the process easy because of the “Right to be Forgotten” movement currently sweeping through the European Union. We’ve written about the topic before (link: the-right-to-be-forgotten).
The lovely people over at 1 Hacker Way might be trying to get ahead of the curve by streamlining the process before they’re forced to do so by legislation. Since the platform across the pond is the same one we use here in the good old US of A, we get to reap the reward.
Ultimately, whatever way you decide to handle the Facebook situation is up to you and only you. If you’re comfortable with putting yourself out there on the internet that’s fine. If you’re no longer comfortable using the platform and want to remove it from your life, that’s fine too. Just remember how valuable PII data is in today’s day and age and how it can be used in a harmful manner.
*It’s hard to say if it had any impact at all. It’ll be awhile before the talking heads and political pundits either drag something new to light or entirely lose interest in the subject altogether.