How do I delete/disable my account?
Ryan Dec 30, 2009
You can disable your account by going to Settings > Disable Account and clicking on "Yes, Disable my Account". You can restore your account later if you choose.
All traces of your profile page and questions users have asked you will disappear. Questions you have asked others will still appear, as there is no way to ever delete a question you have asked another user. Only that user can delete it.
I was reading How Privacy Vanishes Online in the New York Times which shows how computer systems can now analyze even seemingly anonymous data to get quite an accurate idea of who you are when a parent of a student asked how she could delete her daughter's formspring account. If you work in a school and haven't heard of formspring, you will soon, so get ready. Anyway, I looked up the answer to her question and came upon the FAQ response above. Wow, what a great lesson for students to read: "Questions you have asked others will still appear, as there is no way to ever delete a question you have asked another user." There is real confusion over what "anonymous" means online, and what "delete" means. For all intents and purposes, I'd argue that neither are a realistic option when online, so consider that the next time you're pressing 'send' or 'post.'
Also given to me recently was the news that there is a new mashup out there mapping Chat Roulette ("anonymous" video chatting) users. It's pretty scary that now your image and your location can be mapped for the world to find you. More on this at Mashable. Here's a previous post of mine on Chat Roulette, for context.