Facebook Keeps Telling Lies

But wait, you’re not out of the woods yet. In the Delete My Account window, you click Submit. This brings up another window with big red letters warning you that you’re about to permanently delete your account, asking to provide your password and solve a CAPTCHA puzzle.

At that point, Facebook presents you with the following window:

In other words, your account has not been “immediately deleted,” it’s been deactivated for two weeks. If you suddenly decide to log in, all of your posts, updates, friends etc are instantly restored.

Worse, Facebook also generates an email to your log-on address giving you a simple, one-click option to restore your account. Here’s what that looks like:

I suppose if someone had stolen your password and decided to do you a dirty by deleting your Facebook account, this could be considered a safeguard. On the other hand, when you’re trying to delete your child’s Facebook account, and you don’t realize that this email is coming to him (because Facebook doesn’t tell you), it gives your child the perfect opportunity to restore his/her Facebook settings without ever telling you. Fortunately for me, I was logged into my son’s email account at the same time I was deleting his Facebook, so I caught the message in time.

Which leads me to three conclusions: 1. Facebook really wants to make it hard for you to leave. 2. They don’t want the world to know just how hard they make it for you to leave. 3. I wouldn’t trust Elliot Schrage to clean up after my dog.

Dan Tynan has not left Facebook yet, but he’s shopping around for good alternatives. In the meantime he tends his snark garden at eSarcasm. Follow him on Twitter: @Tynan_on_tech.

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