For quite some time, the process of deleting one’s Facebook account has included a 14-day wait, which is quite interesting considering that the waiting period for acquiring a gun is shorter in most places. Now, however, there are reports that easy-to-find "delete account" buttons are surfacing.
Note: the option isn’t available on this writer’s account, and no screenshots of it have surfaced yet. Also, Facebook hadn’t responded to an email inquiry at the time of this writing.
Still, it looks like some sort of experiment or gradual rollout might be underway. A Slashdot post that more than a few Twitter users have echoed reported this morning, "Facebook have quietly added the ability to delete you account. ‘Deactivate Account’, under Account Setting, has become ‘Deactivate or Delete Account’, and when checked it purports to permanently delete your account and all information you have shared."
If true, that’d be an interesting move on Facebook’s part. The company’s of course received many complaints about privacy over the years, but lately, things have been a little quieter, making the gesture seem unforced.
Perhaps Facebook’s become confident enough after getting 500 million members to relax its grip a little? Or this could be an attempt to build some goodwill ahead of the release of The Social Network.
In any event, we’ll be sure to report any updates.
UPDATE: A Facebook representative was good enough to write back and explain, "[W]e are constantly testing new ideas, including the placement of various features. One of these recent tests included variations of the delete account option for a very small percentage of people."