There are plenty of reasons for definitely leaving Facebook behind.
Here’s how to close your account without losing what’s in it.
Like most millennials, I created a Facebook account in 2015 to spy on my crush at the time and see photos posted by my friends. Six years later, all those moments that punctuated my adolescence and my entry into adulthood are still on my Facebook page. Every photo album, private message, and status posted tells my story.
Like me, Facebook has changed a lot over the years. Between us, it’s ancient history, but this social network remains difficult to leave.
Deleting your Facebook profile can seem tedious: you have to manually delete each photo and each status. After 10 years of use, the task becomes daunting!
The easiest way would be to erase all of the content, but that would be like drawing a line out of all my memories and saying goodbye to all the third-party accounts I created using my Facebook credentials. So what to do?
I have good news for you: it is possible to take all this valuable content with you.
What data is stored by Facebook?
Facebook absolutely stores all of your data. This Web giant, which has democratized the sharing of information all the time, has been keeping our data in mind for a long time already, long before it became a social issue. This social network remembers your likes, identifiers, personal information, messages and much more. In 2018, following the Cambridge Analytica scandal, the world discovered that Facebook was participating in the hijacking of its users’ data. More recently, his actions have even led to a boycott campaign. His slogan? #StopHateForProfit. That’s why you should always think about the potential consequences before sharing your data with Facebook. This also applies to third-party applications that want to access your account information. Here you will find a non-exhaustive list of the data that is stored by Facebook. To find out what information third-party applications have access to, go to the Settings page (we’ll discuss this in detail in the rest of the article).
How to download a copy of your data
To regain control of your data, you can create a local copy of all your activity on Facebook.
- First, go to facebook.com/settings.
- On this page, select Your Facebook Info, then Upload Your Info.
- You can set a date range or choose All My Data.
- You can also choose the quality of the photos. This export is available in HTML and JSON formats. The JSON format allows this data to be integrated into another application; the HTML format is easier to read.
- Select the types of items you want to download (photo albums, videos, messages, comments, and other interactions).
- Select Create File. After a few minutes, you will receive by e-mail a .zip file which you will only have to save on your computer.
How to view your archive in .zip format
To view the HTML version of your profile, unzip the archive file then click on the index.html icon to open it in your browser. On the left, you will see different categories of data, such as “Posts”, “Events” and “Messages” This page is offered in text format. It will therefore not be identical to your profile, but you can easily navigate it. All your photos and videos will be stored in a separate folder in your archive.
How to revoke permissions from apps that have access to your data
I grant you, using your Facebook account to create an account on an application is very practical. But these days, privacy is an invaluable asset.
A few years ago, we weren’t so keen on protecting our Facebook data. The New York Times, for example, reported that among the millions of victims of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, 270,000 users had their data stolen by granting permission to a third-party application offering a personality quiz. According to Buzzfeed News, developers can require Facebook users to give them multiple “data points,” such as religious beliefs or marital status, so they can better target consumers. If you’ve given an app permission to access your data, you can revoke that permission at any time.
- Go to the Settings> Apps & websites page, hover your cursor over the desired app and then edit (you can set the type of information it receives) or remove access.
Unfortunately, your data may already be stored by its developer. The solution? Contact him directly and ask him to delete this information.
- To do this, go to Settings and click on Report the application, then on I want to send a message to the developer. In this message, ask them to delete your data.
How to unlink Facebook from your third-party accounts
Deleting Facebook is all well and good, but you still have to be able to keep the accounts associated with it. Here the method will be different depending on the application. Instagram (which is owned by Facebook) allows you to unlink your Facebook account. To do this, follow the following path: Settings> Account> Linked accounts> Facebook> Unlink> Confirm.
For the Spotify application, you will have to ask the developers to manually transfer your information. If you contact support, they will be happy to create a backup of your music, playlists, and followers. Your account will also be changed so that you can log in with your email address.
Some apps, like Bumble, can be used even after your account has been deactivated, but with one condition: never sign out. Fortunately, most dating platforms allow you to use a phone number as an identifier. Many applications also allow you to associate an account with an e-mail address.
The great moment of farewell
Have you downloaded your data to your hard drive and successfully dissociated all third-party applications? You can now delete your Facebook account.
- Select Settings & privacy > Settings .
- Click on Your Facebook Info in the left column, then choose Deactivation & Deletion.
- Select Permanently delete the account, and then click Continue to deactivate the account. Click Remove Account, enter your password, then click Continue.
During those 30 days, you might be tempted to reconnect with Facebook. But I am the living example that we can stand firm: I deleted my account almost two years ago. And if I did, you can too!