Have you ever, in a fit of social media indignation, tried to delete your Facebook account? It’s not easy. It’s more like an obstacle course of second-thought opportunities. Once you start the deactivation process, Facebook even tries appealing to your sentimental side by listing all of the friends who’ll miss you when you’re gone. Presenting Exhibit A:
JustDelete.me, a website and Chrome extension that provides direct links to the account deletion processes of various web services, judges Facebook’s to be of “medium” difficulty (because they keep some of your data forever), but claims “you can delete your account easily.” Skeptical of this assessment, I tested it out. Lo and behold, once I activated the JustDelete.me extension on Facebook, I was brought promptly to the page below (see: Exhibit B), which enabled me to delete my account with the click of a button. It really was easy.
Out of the 241 web accounts databased in JustDelete.me’s directory, 146 are categorized as “easy” to delete, 18 are considered “medium” in difficulty, 36 are “hard” to delete and 41 are “impossible” (10 of which are Gawker sites). The majority of “hard” websites make users call or email customer service to request the suspension of their account. While these clunky processes help ensure that the deletion request is legit, it’s clear that these websites are also just betting on user laziness.
|Animal Crossing Community
|Gawker Media (Deadspin, Gawker, Gizmodo, iO9, Jalopnik, Jezebel, Kinja, Kotaku, Lifehacker, Valleywag)
HOL Virtual Hogwarts
We the People
Gaming service Battle.net has one of the most outlandish account deletion processes humanly imaginable, requiring departing users to “send a signed written letter confirming your wishes, your account details and a copy of legal identification (passport, drivers license) to your account region’s office headquarters.” And that’s only enough to merit Battle.net a deletion difficulty of “hard.”
JustDelete.Me is the brainchild of developer Robb Lewis and designer Ed Poole. Their website launched on August 19th with only 16 websites in the deletion directory, but it has since expanded to 241 thanks to user requests. While email requests are no longer open, if you’re handy with GitHub you can manually add an entry to the directory here. Happy deleting!
RYOT NOTE: JustDelete.me empowers users to control their private and personal information on the Internet. Likewise, the American Civil Liberties Union works to guarantee every American his or her right to privacy. Click on the gray box to learn more about the ACLU, donate and Become the News!