Tools for deletion

Below is a list of tools and resources that may help with auditing and deletion. Though we do our best to keep this list updated, the data industry has strong incentives to break any tool promoting deletion. If you think something is outdated or missing from this list, please contribute here.

The next Deletion Day
is on April 4th

Data brokers

The following lists contain dozens of companies who make money by aggregating data about you. Be prepared: some of these companies know your address or phone number. Some opt-outs will be relatively frictionless, but many are difficult by design. We hope the following resources will help, especially with companies that try to obscure their legal obligation to fulfill deletion requests.

Doxing

Sadly, it doesn’t take much to uncover the identity or even whereabouts of an average Internet user. Stalkers, harassers, online vigilantes, and bored assholes could decide to target anyone. Innocent people are doxed and harassed frequently on the Internet.

Part of being safe online is knowing the risks. “Reconnaissance” tools exist with the express purpose of tracking down individuals. They are free, easy to use, and widely available. With this knowledge, there are steps you can take to protect yourself. We’ve listed some guides below:

Social media

Precious memories can exist within online spaces. Below are suggestions for how to reclaim your content from corporate ownership, but we recognize the importance and sentimentality of such data. All of these sites have export or backup features which let you download your data to a private hard drive before deleting them. You may wish to investigate these options before proceeding.

Facebook

Great news: after enough public outcry and over a decade of legal pressure, Facebook now has an official help article titled “How do I permanently delete my Facebook account?”. This should be all you need if you want to completely delete your profile.

If you want to keep your Facebook account but remove content you’ve uploaded, it’s a more involved process. Facebook doesn’t offer official tools for bulk deletion. But it’s still possible – here are some links to get you started:

Instagram

Similar to its parent company Facebook, Instagram provides clear instructions for fully deleting your account. However, if you want to delete the photos from your account but keep your username or followers, there is no official supported solution.

If you’re in a bind, we suggest you restrict your privacy settings and explore another option before giving your login details to closed-source third-party tools.

Reddit

Because Reddit is public by default, plenty of free archive and analysis tools such as Snoop Snoo and Removeddit exist. With these tools, it’s surprisingly easy to discover a user’s identity.

To deactivate your account, here is an FAQ entry. Your comment and post history will remain, but your username will be replaced by the string [deleted].

We recommend obscuring or deleting prior posting history before deleting your account. We have had success using the following:

Twitter

The quickest way to permanently remove a Twitter account is to deactivate it.

If you want to delete your tweets or likes without deactivating your account, these options may help:

By default, Twitter stores and publishes location data alongside your tweets. You can turn it off here. There is an option to delete all location information you’ve uploaded in the past.

Miscellaneous