Deleting your unused or unwanted online accounts can be a giant pain – and, in some cases, is literally impossible. But a new Web directory, JustDelete.me, makes the process a little less daunting.
Launched last week by developer Robb Lewis and designed by Ed Poole, JustDelete.me provides a growing list of Internet-connected services, with links and information about the account deletion process. When available, direct links to account delete pages are provided. JustDelete.me also categorizes each service into "easy," "medium," "hard," and "impossible," depending on the difficulty of deleting an account from that service. The site also provides tidbits of information about account deletion for each service.
Google and Instagram, for example, both land in the "easy" category, since these companies only require that users login and opt to delete their accounts. Amazon, on the other hand, gets a "hard" tag due to the fact that you have to send an email to the company requesting to have your account deleted; JustDelete.me links directly to Amazon’s appropriate contact form for doing so.
Other services, like Craigslist and Evernote, land in the “impossible” category. Evernote only allows users to temporarily deactivate their accounts, notes JustDelete.me, while Craigslist offers no way for users to delete accounts, "not even by contacting support."
In a post on his blog, Lewis says he came up with the idea for JustDelete.me after hearing how difficult it is to delete a Skype or Netflix account.
JustDelete.me went live on August 19, with 16 services in its directory. The list has since grown to nearly 130 services, at the time of this writing. And fellow Web developer Mike Rogers created a Google Chrome extension to make the account deletion process even easier.
Poole says he believes the booming popularity JustDelete.me has received – more than 500,000 page views in its first week – stems from growing discontent with Internet-connected services, in light of the recent revelations about NSA surveillance. The "honeymoon period" for the Web, says Poole, has ended.
"Five years ago, when things like Facebook and MySpace were still in their infancy, people didn’t see the harm in sharing their personal information," said Poole in an email to Digital Trends. "Recently, with the drama surrounding the NSA and stories of large companies selling personal information, I think the public has realized we can’t just put anything online, as nobody really knows what information is 'safe' anymore."
According to Poole, the creation of JustDelete.me has simply "emphasized how much online privacy and security is in the public consciousness."