How to clean Facebook
May 27, 2014 10:43 PM   Subscribe

I want to clean my Facebook timeline and delete all old posts, and cannot figure out how. And the more I am stymied the more determined I become to do this.

I followed the advice in this Slate article, but the programs they recommend, Facebook Timeline Cleaner and Absterge, no longer seem to work on either Chrome or Firefox. I couldn't even install the scripts. A Firefox add-on also appears to have been neutralized just in this past month.

There's nothing incriminating or bad I want to delete; I just have reached the breaking point with Facebook. I still rely on it for day to day social interactions with a lot of far-flung friends, so I don't want to delete my account totally - I just want to neutralize the damn thing and make it work for me.

I did download an archive, so have all my photos saved.

Does anyone have any suggestions, or know of anything that has worked recently.
posted by kanewai to Technology (4 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
I know someone who recently re-booted their facebook account by making a new one, posting a "this is my new account!" and sharing it from the old one, while also adding all of the friends she wanted to carry over (facebook's "you might know" algorithm probably accidentally does a pretty good job of enabling that once it notices you're adding people from the old account). The process took her a few weeks but she's deleted the old account by now, so I take it she was satisfied with the results. Perhaps something like that could work for you?
posted by lisp witch at 10:56 PM on May 27, 2014

Account Killer has instructions for entirely nuking a FB account.

The deleting process takes 14 days. I did this a couple of years ago, then created a new one purely for visibility and contact (although inevitably I've slowly been drawn back into posting/commenting etc). That's probably your best bet.
posted by Happy Dave at 5:10 AM on May 28, 2014

Yeah. Sigh. I think nuking the account is the best answer. At least a fresh start would let me manage it better. My new plan: new account, delete everything (except photos) at the end of each month, and try to keep the damn thing in check.
posted by kanewai at 6:59 PM on May 28, 2014

Follow up to anyone wanting to do the same:

Photobucket allows you to import your Facebook albums. I ran into a few problems with the "mobile upload" album, and had to put all these into separate smaller albums for the import to work. And I had to do it one at a time. FB does not make managing photos easy.

The benefit of this is that I retain the rights to the photos on Photobucket, unlike with FB, twitter, instagram, and the rest where you forfeit your ownership.

I had to download videos individually. Small pain.

I friended myself, old and new avatars. This allowed me to search my original friends list and add the ones who I wanted to keep. This took awhile, as if you add too many new friends too quickly FB thinks you are a spammer.

Answered a dozen messages along the lines of "why are you doing this?"

I turned "platforms" off, which means other sites can't link to me or mine my account for information. I loose a bit of functionality with this, and might turn it one one day.

And set the original account to terminate in 14 days.


And it hasn't made a huge difference. Earlier this week the top posts were

5 updates from people I don't know. (friends of friends? why do I care?)

7 friends posting random links, including one on how to poop that I've seen every day this week, one fake news item from the left, one fake news item from the right, and one fake news item on GMO's.

3 actual updates from friends, plus two posts that were too cryptic to figure out.

3 ads

- That's still a lot of b.s. to wade through just to try and keep in touch, but it's an improvement.
posted by kanewai at 12:38 AM on June 10, 2014 [1 favorite]

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