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FYI here’s a link to delete your Facebook account: https://www.facebook.com/help/delete_account

Earlier I had “deactivated” my account thinking it would get deleted, but then I learned I have to visit this page to actually delete it.

Note, if your account is already deactivated when you try to delete it you will again be asked for your password despite being already logged in. You will also be asked to complete a CAPTCHA. This will invariably result in the error message:

"Incorrect email/password combination"[1]

This is despite being logged in to FB with the same password.

The fix is to change your password, log out and log back in with the changed password. You will then be able to delete your account without issue.

Maybe the author could add this information to their post?

People have been asking on the FB help forum for years about how to resolve this error. FB refuses to answer anyone asking for help with this error. I'm guessing their failure to mention this or address this is quite intentional.

Oh and the audio versions of the CAPTCHAs are all completely unintelligible gibberish. I'm guessing this is intentional as well.

[1] https://www.facebook.com/help/community/question/?id=4018056...

Oh dear, a bug! I wonder if it's a bug like the one that raided your linked contacts and wiped out people's email addresses and replaced them with a @facebook.com email. Or the multiple 'glitches' that would reset your privacy settings to more public.

Or the glitch that makes your input disappear if you try to use the site in desktop mode on a mobile phone. Malicious bugs are at this point an obvious FB tactic for plausible deniability in bad UX directed at users with certain behavior.

Or, not malicious at all, simply a bug. The 'delete user' functionality is going to be rarely used, so it gets hardly any QA test coverage, compared to the news feed page functionality used by many hundreds of millions of people.

>Or the multiple 'glitches' that would reset your privacy settings to more public.

I didn't know this was a real thing. I was getting ready to delete my account a couple days ago but I wanted to set all the privacy settings to be as strict as possible before I did it.

Sure enough, somehow all of the advertising and data retention settings were on the most open option possible, despite restricting them when I made the account and when I would occasionally check my privacy settings

Interesting... completely unrelated to the recent issues, a few months ago, I wanted to log in to Facebook from a mobile browser so I could follow a link without installing the app.

I also ran into a challenging captcha and a page saying my account had been “locked”, but I was still able to log in. After logging in, I received a phone call from Palo Alto. When I let the call go to voicemail, it left a message consisting only of a recorded voice saying “goodbye”. Perhaps this was some poorly-implemented two-factor auth, but in context, I felt like Facebook was intentionally making the experience of using a mobile browser unpleasant to encourage use of the app.

Sounds like the delete your account page has similar “issues”.

From my experience optimizing signup funnels, it made me wonder if somebody is doing that work in reverse here. Are they getting a bonus based on what percentage of people abandon the account deletion process?

Maybe I’m just being paranoid, and optimizing those flows is simply not a high priority. But for a tech-focused company that tends to operate at a pretty high level, it felt like they are actively making things more difficult. Like this was the shittiest experience bright minds could come up with.

That's really weird. I didn't do any of the stuff you said lead up to the call but I also got a voicemail from Palo Alto that just said "Goodbye" I joked with my friends it was that California was about to fall off the US. Wonder if it is related to facebook or something.

I definitely got it within a few minutes of logging into Facebook from a mobile browser, which is not something I normally do... maybe someone was trying to log into your account?

I use only the mobile website for years and they are slowly removing features. The last I noticed that was removed was image upload in a comment.

Dark UX

I had disabled my account a week ago, not realizing there was a separate delete option, then deleted it a couple days ago. I didn't run into this issue; I signed into my "disabled" account first, then went to the delete link and it worked.

It's a strange bug for sure. Friend I helped had to change their password 2-3 times before it would go through.

We typed it very carefully. Tried copying from notepad, the same copying used to reset the password.

It indeed felt like Hotel California, as someone below compared.

Does doing this also delete Messenger? I'm aware there's been a little bit of decoupling of the two services in recent times.

...and does it actually delete your data from Facebook's servers? I.e. all their records of your messaging history, all your photos, their ability to make a future third party face-recognize you on the street, their knowledge of who you find attractive, what party you are likely to vote for, what crimes you are likely to commit, what you like to spend money on and so on and so forth?

I don't think so. I've kept my account primarily because I assume they'd have a shadow account on me. Just because you don't have a FB account doesn't mean they don't have data on you.

I've kept an account partly for that reason. I'm wondering how much GDPR might change that though. Can anyone with more expertise on the matter weigh in?

Assuming I could be relatively certain that my data will be deleted, I'd probably keep a bare account but delete most of what they have.

I would expect that much of your data would remain, though specific portions would be anonymized. I would guess that photos, the contents of posts, etc. would vanish (eventually), but the account id and metadata, connections to other accounts, events, and the like, would remain in perpetuity.

Yes I believe so, although they say it may take a while for various batch processes to get rid of all traces - for instance tape backup.

What happens to your Spotify account if you delete/deactivate your facebook account? I made the mistake of linking the 2 when I first joined Spotify in my haste to listen to music.

Looking through my email archives, I see I had to contact Spotify support via email and ask them to delete the Spotify account I'd created via FB, so that I could signup again via an email login.

However! Spotify support were great, they offered to migrate all my playlists from the old account over to the new account. No guarantees they could do that now with everyone deleting their FB accounts at once, but I was really impressed with the friendliness of their service. They pretty much created a customer for life out of me from that support experience.


You will need to contact Spotify support if you deactivated Facebook prior to disconnecting from Spotify.

You're not the only one - for years Spotify ONLY let you sign in with Facebook. And you aren't allowed to unlink them either. I had to just start a new Spotify account and Los everything.

You will need to call Spotify. I was not able to cancel my Spotify subscription anymore after I deleted Facebook. So I had to call and they had to manually transfer all my playlists to a new account

Deactivating your account does nothing to Messenger, not sure about deleting.

Yes, unfortunately.

If you're deleting Facebook and not getting rid of messenger you're missing the point. Messenger is more invasive in many ways, even if it doesn't track your web activity as much.

Invasiveness of Messenger is much more bearable because it lets me communicate with my Facebook friends, which I see as much more important benefit compared to a time sink newsfeed.

Also, using Messenger Lite (Android only) is a vastly better experience than the main Messenger app.

It's funny, because for me the primary benefit of Facebook is events. Keeping track of events with calendar invites is much more clunky and higher friction. Messenger is just walled-garden email and I could live without it, but I have no idea how to do community events as well as I can with Facebook.

And it's funny because contrary to the "Facebook as hypnotist" narrative (which is real) Facebook is a really fantastic tool for getting people together talking face to face and even working together on things.

Until you realize that FB has no API to get events out of FB. FB might be useful but it's the same usefulness as having an email thread with a calendar invite. They don't let you export your event data in any meaningful way to keep you on the platform.

My FB events appear in my iCal just fine via CalDav. Not sure why you think you can't grab your data.

It's not just about events automatically appearing. First of all, I'm not sure of a way to do that without individually exporting events, maybe if I setup FB emails for events, I could get GMail to auto-add them, but I don't use GMail so it would take more setup to ingest invites automatically. But even then, there's no way to RSVP inside the calendar invite itself. The interface is opaque, they let you read their data, but not interact with it in a programmatic way despite it being _your_ friend network and _your_ event.

It just depends on what you use it for. A lot of my friends have cheap phone plans with low network minutes/texts but unlimited wifi. Facebook Messenger becomes a cheap phone in this case. There's alternatives, but I'd have to convince everyone I know to swap to them...not gonna happen.

Meetup.com maybe? But I agree, I use Facebook Events a lot. It comes back to that issue of "everyone is here and using it, so this is where events are posted".

If Facebook decides you should be allowed to talk face to face and work together, that is. One of the big problems with Facebook events is that the algorithm filters them out pretty aggressively unless the creator pays to promote them.

My kids school uses signup genius. There are a few solutions

SlimSocial also supports Messenger and is a good alternative to the Facebook app in general. You still have the same privacy issues regarding data on Facebook's servers, but at least this app lacks the client-side analytics.

I also use messenger to communicate with friends, but i think im going to make the effort to convince them to move to a privacy focused and non data mining platform, such as telegram.

Maybe I'm missing something, but why not just use sms?

The thing you are missing is that many of us have friends all over the world. And international SMS quickly gets expensive. (Also, most people are not on signal / your-favorite-messaging-app) ...

Group chat doesn't exist in sms.

Also it is quite old fashioned and painfully limited wrt/attachments.

And expensive for thise with families/friends abroad.

People make group chats in FB messenger. If you don't have messenger, you don't get to be in the group chat.

To give my personal answer for it, there's no other cross-platform messaging service that everyone uses.

There are other chat services sure, but the Facebook has by far the most number of people I know on it. Also, not everyone I know exchange numbers. There's no usernames, etc on Facebook so its easy to find people too.

Weird, I know, but guess generations are changing. Apparently now Snapchat has become the main form of 'communication' for many millennial with their friends. So looks like I'm falling behind.

Because SMS only supports text, but not any form of multimedia. Granted you can use MMS but that's really expensive and only does photo and video. Also, SMS has no encryption or sender authentication, not even any way to prevent MITM sniffing or spoofing (which is why online banking SMS verification is unsafe as hell).

Try threema. They have multimedia, everything is encrypted and group chat works well. - Not open source, it cost a little, but I trust them.

My friends use messenger and getting them to change is hard, not sure why they migrated to it in the first place...

SMS isn't cross-platform and costs money.

If I have messenger (edit: Messenger Lite) on my phone, is it tracking my location the same as the facebook app would? I usually have location services turned off but I don't imagine that makes much difference.

(I bet that's a stupid question)

Not a stupid question.

I also don't know if turning off location services actually disables the ability of apps to get your location.

It does not. It's essentially preventing them from getting granular or "fine" location. They can still get basic telemetry as I recall.

Bye FB, and while I'm at it, so long LinkedIn. Good riddance.

For too many years I kept a page at popular social networks even if they added negative value for me. I don't know, what if someone place a page there impersonating me? Well, I don't care anymore.

The problem is, how do you find out how many sites you currently use Facebook Connect for, and get non-FB Connect logins for?

Until recently I thought Lyft made Facebook login mandatory, I'm not sure if that's still the case.

I think if you look under "Apps" in your Facebook account settings, you can see a list of websites where you're logged in with Facebook.

I use Lyft, and I have never used Facebook to log into ANYTHING. So I don't know if they support dropping an existing Facebook login, but they certainly support other authentication methods. (Mine is username-password.)

I don’t have a Facebook account and use Lyft.

For anyone staying because of Facebook Messenger, it's not obvious but you can tie Messenger to your phone number instead of having a Facebook account.

It still requires you to create a new account (that has an account key you can automically store in Google Drive) but it works.

The downsides are that messenger.com doesn't support this so you can only access messenger on your phone and that Facebook still has an idea of who you are.

Does FB put in writing somewhere that deleting your account will result in all your data, including inferences and profiling data derived from data you and others have provided will be actually purged from their systems? Or do they just delete what little personal data you may have provided directly, but could still reconstitute virtually everything about you, whether anonymized or re-linked upon request or payment by a third party?

Search for "deleted" in https://www.facebook.com/full_data_use_policy. The bit you'd be worried about is: Keep in mind that information that others have shared about you is not part of your account and will not be deleted when you delete your account.

Which is wrong obviously. I should be able to purge all info about me from the site. Its not hard - after all, people tag users they talk about.

It's not obvious to me that other people's comments should be deleted or modified because they mention you. What if they mention you again after you've left?

Facebook is like Hotel California.

> You can checkout any time you like, but you can never leave!"

> Earlier I had “deactivated” my account thinking it would get deleted, but then I learned I have to visit this page to actually delete it.

Thank you for pointing this out. I, too, was under the impression that "Deactivate" was the delete option, especially considering they place a "Delete" segment right above it but make it sound as if that is about handling your account after death. Some definite dark patterns in the UI right there.

It's both a dark pattern and a connivence - there are a bunch of people who will deactivate their account and then start it up again. Having the data there to just... rehydrate the account makes that re-onboarding much more seamless.

But yeah, there's a sneaking dark side to how they use that feature.

I thought my account was deleted for years. I randomly started getting FB emails about a month ago. A few days ago I was emailed about being tagged in a dead friends picture. Bye Zuck, I hate you at a personal level.

Deleting Facebook now, without good alternatives, might cause more problems than good.

Instead, we should first model what the future of social networking should look like:


Then I am curious to hear people's thoughts on:

- Mastodon

- Secure Scuttlebutt

- Steemit


> Deleting Facebook now, without good alternatives, might cause more problems than good

It's safe to do it now. I got you covered:




What's this mean? Really rich dude did something, you should too?

Is it not "safe" to do something until the guy people worship does something? Have respect for yourself.

Parent is saying that the Facebook alternative is a personal/corporate website.

Maybe (though it's vague enough to mean anything), but it's definitely of the Musk does it, you can too variety.

Those alternatives never went anywhere for the past 14 years. Musk is late to the game, what's his wiki prove?

The "I've got new respect for Musk" mantra (actually stated in this thread) when he's doing what other people have been doing for a decade, only difference is, he's rich, is very follow the crowd for something which prides itself on individuality like HN.

I think that the message ModernMech is trying to convey is the following:

-if you want to read the news for Tesla, go to their website -you don't need to be spied on 24/7 and having that "intelligence" coming back to bite you -you don't need a constant spy to follow you around to any page with a "like" button -you don't need to waste 60mins in cat videos and party photos on a party you were not invited, if your actual need to see the news about the new Tesla XYZ car

I #deletedFacebook a decade ago. I've been more than fine, as will everyone.

Hearing people’s rationalization for why leaving FB is impossible makes you realize how addictive and insidious the product truly is.

Seriously. It's like listening to smokers rationalize why they can't stop.

Conveniently ignoring that smokers do have a substance addition to nicotine.

I'm not ignoring it. The rationalizations just sounds similar, that's all. If anything it speaks to the strength of people's addiction to Facebook.

Secure Scuttlebutt is pretty amazing. I've seen a few demos of people who run a private social network app, Patchwork. Definitely something to look out for.

> I am curious to hear people's thoughts on: Mastodon, Secure Scuttlebutt, Steemit

None of them are very good...?

Many of us use Telegram.

Others use Signal.

Signal advantages: tptacek thinks the crypto is good.

Signal disadvantage: It wont work with limited permissions on your phone according to some people on HN.

Telegram advantage: somewhat more userfriendly. Larger userbase. Works even if you limit its permissions.

Telegram disadvantage: every cryptographer seems to think their crypto is bad. Uncertainty wrt their relations with Russian government. (I think they are enemies but some think they are very good friends or blackmailed into cooperation.)

> Signal disadvantage: It wont work with limited permissions on your phone according to some people on HN.

I'm curious as to what those limited permissions are? I assume this refers to iOS, because in my experience, Android is not as restrictive of apps.

Not anymore, fixed approx. 2 months ago, see changelog:

> This holiday season, don't ask for everything all at once (especially during installation). Signal now supports dynamic permissions.

> Many of us use Telegram.

And some friends and me use Threema. Very old fashioned: you pay some money and get a product. But I wouldn't want to switch.

Imho threema is the best client overall. Very fast, very reliable, great UI, good crypto. Designed for company usage. Security whise however I guess Signal has the upper hand.

They both audit their crypto:

Threema audit: https://threema.ch/es/faq/code_audit

Signal audit: https://eprint.iacr.org/2016/1013.pdf

Sounds like a product I'd like.

I used to like WhatsApp, another app with an old-fashioned business model ...

Disadvantages of Telegram, Signal: Add: don't work on desktops.

Telegram works well on desktops. For me that is part of being userfriendly.

The signal app works fine for me (on Mac)...

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