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Monday, June 14, 2010

How To Permanently Delete Your Account on Popular Websites

Cameron Chapman is a professional Web and graphic designer with over 6 years of experience. She writes for a number of blogs, including her own, Cameron Chapman On Writing. She’s also the author of Internet Famous: A Practical Guide to Becoming an Online Celebrity. Today she is talking about how to delete your accounts on popular websites.
She has rated the difficulty level of removing your account on the scale of 1-5, five being the most difficult. According to her, removing your account from Wikipedia and WordPress is impossible, while the easiest one is PayPal. Facebook on the other hand is the most difficult one rated five, whereas, MySpace stands at four.
Why’s It So Complicated?
In the case of every service mentioned above, properly deleting your account is a multi-step process. Some sites are even more difficult. It’s not a technical issue, obviously, as programming a functionality to let users delete their own accounts is something most competent developers could do before breakfast. 
So why do some sites make it so complicated? The answer is user retention. They don’t want you to delete your account. The hope is that if you have the account, you’ll use it at least occasionally, if for no other reason than curiosity about things you might have missed when you weren’t logged in. As soon as you delete that account, though, it’s an out-of-site-out-of-mind kind of thing. You’re less likely to sign up for another account if you decided you could live without it once.
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