Monday, June 8, 2009

What if you want to withdraw from Facebook, Twitter or...?

Here's a question... What if you want to withdraw from a social networking site like Facebook or Twitter or Blogger... Nah, you wouldn't want to leave Twitter or Blogger, so let's make believe we're talking about Facebook or LinkedIn. Suppose you not only want to remove yourself from the site but also "want to make sure your information doesn't last forever in cyberspace."

Fortunately, Shivani Vora of USA Today answered the question for us as follows in an article entitled Quick Fix: A Way to Be Less Social; the article is abridged here.

Solution: Signing up for a social-networking site is straightforward, but removing yourself from one can be less obvious. Each site has its own procedure for eliminating a profile, but you can generally find your way out by looking under the "Settings" tab on the home page and choosing the option to delete your account, or going to the "Help" tab and searching for "delete account." Some networks give you the choice to suspend your account, which means your content remains on the site.

Facebook gives members an option to de-activate accounts, which means your profile information is saved and still on the Web. To remove it for good, you need to submit a request by going into the Help section at the bottom of the page. Search for "delete account" and follow the instructions. Other sites are more direct when it comes to deleting profiles. LinkedIn gives users an option to immediately close their accounts by going into the "Accounts and Settings" tab.

Caveat: It can take up to a few weeks for your profile to be removed from search engines such as Google so don't expect your information to be wiped out right away from the Web.

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