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Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Quitting social media or taking a break? Here’s what you must know

All major platforms from Facebook to Twitter, to Instagram give users the option to deactivate their accounts or if they want they can delete them entirely.

Written by Shruti Dhapola | New Delhi |
Updated: March 4, 2020 8:25:44 am
Explained: Here is how to quit social media platforms Prime Minister Narendra Modi Monday tweeted out his intention to quit all social media accounts.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi Monday tweeted out his intention to quit all social media accounts: “This Sunday, thinking of giving up my social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & YouTube. Will keep you all posted.” A big statement, considering that Modi has effectively used social media to build his image, long before he became Prime Minister and is one of the biggest stars on all global social media platforms. On Tuesday, the PM ended the suspense by clarifying that the idea was to “give away my social media accounts to women whose life & work inspire us. This will help them ignite motivation in millions.”

One of the first mainstream politicians to realise the potential of social media, Narendra Modi was active on both Twitter and Facebook back in 2009. He had a YouTube channel as early as 2007. Now, his Twitter handle has close to 53.3 million followers, making him the third most followed world leader on the platform after Barack Obama (113.3 mn) and Donald Trump (73.3 mn). On Instagram, his account has 35.2mn followers making him the most followed leader. For reference, Barack Obama trails him with 26.9m followers. His YouTube channel has 4.51M subscribers. On Twitter, he has been the main draw for a lot of Indian users, some of whom tout their followed by Narendra Modi status.

Read | #NoSir and plenty of memes: How people reacted to PM Modi ‘giving up’ social media

But is it possible to quit all social media?

Yes, of course. All major platforms from Facebook to Twitter, to Instagram give users the option to deactivate their accounts or if they want they can delete them entirely. Deactivating an account means your account is not deleted, it is just temporarily not in use, till you decide to reactivate it. If deactivating an account, make sure you keep the password and email id safe for that account, because you will need these if you decide to get back on the platform.

On Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube, you can temporarily deactivate an account. TikTok, which is a newer social media account lets users completely delete their account. On Twitter, the option is for deactivating the account. WhatsApp lets you only delete your account entirely.

Interestingly, a 2018 survey by Pew Research had show that about 59 per cent of US social media users thought it wouldn’t be hard to quit any of the platforms. About 40 per cent said it would be a problem to quit, a number that had gone up from 28 per cent the last time the survey was conducted in 2014.

What does it mean when you delete or deactivate Facebook?

Facebook gives users the option of deactivating their account or deleting it entirely. Deleting means the account will not be reactivated, and all your photos, posts, videos, etc are gone forever. You do have the option of downloading all your Facebook data before taking this step and it recommended you do so. Remember deleting your Facebook account does not mean photos of you that others have posted on the network are deleted. Only content you have uploaded is deleted.

Facebook Messenger access is also gone once you delete your Facebook account. Still, messages you might have sent to friends will be visible in their inbox after your account is deleted. Your account name disappears from next to those messages.

Facebook login for other third-party apps is also revoked when you delete the account. So if you have signed into an app using the social network, best to create a new account there, before deleting.

But Facebook also gives users the option to cancel a deletion if it has been less than 30 days since they initiated this step. It also admits that deleting all of the data might take up to 90 days, though the information will not be accessible to other users.

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“Copies of your information may remain after the 90 days in backup storage that we use to recover in the event of a disaster, software error, or other data loss event. We may also keep your information for things like legal issues, terms violations, or harm prevention efforts,” notes the company.

With deactivating Facebook, your profile gets hidden, but photos, posts and videos are not deleted. Facebook Messenger access continues, the profile picture remains in the conversations with your friend. People will also be able to search for you by name on the network.

Facebook login for other third-party apps will continue. One can reactivate their account whenever they want, unlike deletion.

How to temporarily deactivate a Facebook account

Go to Facebook settings, then Facebook Information.

Click on Deactivation and Deletion.

Choose Deactivate Account, then click ‘Continue to Account Deactivation’.

You will be asked for your password before the account is deactivated.

In order to reactivate your account, you will need access to the email, mobile number you used when logging into the account.

How to permanently delete a Facebook account?

First login and download a copy of your Facebook information. The option for downloading this is part of your Facebook Information settings.

Once you have downloaded your information, click Deactivation and Deletion.

Choose Delete Account, then click on ‘Continue to Account Deletion.’You will be asked to enter your password. Once done, click continue followed by Delete Account.

What happens when you delete/deactivate an Instagram account?

Instagram is also giving options for disable or deactivating the account or going for an outright deletion. In case of deactivation, the user’s profile, photos, comments and likes are all hidden from the platform. None of this data is deleted.

They will remain hidden until you reactivate the account by logging back in. If you have a lot of followers, this would also mean that they will no longer be able to find your account, see your photos, etc.

Deleting your Instagram account is more drastic and with permanent consequences. The account, profile, photos, videos, comments, likes and followers are all permanently removed once you take this step. Further, once you delete an Instagram account, you cannot sign up again with that same username or add that username to another account. Instagram does not “reactivate deleted accounts”.

Instagram will only let you deactivate or delete an account from a web browser. The setting is not available on the iOS or Android app.

Here are the steps to disable your Instagram profile

Open your Instagram profile page and click on Edit Profile.

Scroll down to the Temporarily disable my account option.

Instagram wants you to choose a reason as to why you are deactivating. Select one from the drop-down menu next to the question “Why are you disabling your account?”

It is mandatory to choose a reason as the option to disable will only appear after you’ve selected a reason from the menu.

Instagram will ask you to re-enter your password. Tap or click on ‘Temporarily Disable Account’. If you want to reactivate, don’t forget the password, because that’s you will need to log-in again and reactivate the account.

Here are the steps to permanently delete your account:

Go to the Delete Your Account page. This does not show up in the regular settings. Instead there’s a link for it which is

Once again you will have to choose an option on the exact reason as to why you are deleting your account. This is mandatory.

Re-enter your password.

Click or tap ‘Permanently delete my account’.

Can you delete a Twitter account? What happens when you do?

Twitter is only offering the option for deactivating an account. There’s no option for permanently deleting your Twitter account. When you deactivate your Twitter account, the display name, username, and public profile are no longer visible on Twitter’s website, its iOS and Android app.

The platform will let you download all your data, but the request needs to be sent before you hit deactivate. “Links to download your data cannot be sent to deactivated accounts,” notes the page on deactivation.

You can choose a reactivation period also at the time of deactivation. Right now, it shows two options on the settings page: 30 days or 12 months. Because Twitter is a public platform, even if you deactivate an account, some of the account information could be available on search engines such as Google or Bing.

How to deactivate your Twitter account

Tap your profile icon, go to Settings and privacy.

Tap Account, then tap Deactivate your account at the bottom.

Enter your password when prompted and tap Deactivate.

Confirm by tapping Yes, deactivate.

How to delete or hide a YouTube channel?

YouTube is giving users the option to hide their channel or permanently delete. If you hide your channel, then the channel name, videos, likes, subscriptions, and subscribers are all made private. Hiding does not delete the content from YouTube’s servers and users have the option of reactivating it.

But all comments and replies will be permanently deleted when you hide a channel. Data on other Google properties is not impacted.

Deleting a channel means all your videos, channel name, subscribers, etc are deleted. Further, the channels URL and channel name will no longer be visible or searchable in YouTube Analytics, notes the YouTube explainer page. Watch Time data for the channel will still be part of aggregate reports, but YouTube will no longer attribute it to the deleted channel.

How to hide a YouTube channel

Sign into YouTube on a computer

Go to advanced account settings. Click Account > Settings or in the bottom left hand corner, select Advanced Settings.

At the bottom, there will be an option for Delete channel. This is where the hide or delete options are present.

Go to the link. Sign-in with your account, and choose the option for hiding my channel.

Select what will be hidden on your channel.

Select Hide my channel.

How to delete a YouTube channel

Once you reach the Delete channel settings as highlighted above, you will have to sign-in again.

Select I want to permanently delete my content.

Select the boxes to confirm you want to delete your channel.

Select Delete my channel or Delete my content.

YouTube says the update may take some time, so you might continue to see thumbnails of your videos on the site for a short time. Any other data on your Google Account is not affected.

How to delete a TikTok account?

TikTik is right now offering only an option for deleting the account entirely. There’s no deactivation option. This is permanent and cannot be reversed. There’s no recovery for a deleted account. Once your account is deleted you can’t use the account to log in to TikTok, and you lose access to the videos you’ve posted. Any purchased items on TikTok will also be lost and there will be no refunds. However, shared information, such as chat messages, may still be visible to others.

Follow these steps to delete your TikTok account

Go to Profile tab and tap the Settings icon

Tap Manage My Account > Delete Account.

Follow the steps in the app to delete your account.

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