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How to Commit Internet Suicide and Disappear from the Web Forever

9 November 2012

From Lifehacker:

Sick of horribly embarrassing things showing up when potential employers Google your name? Tired of everyone knowing you live in a garden level dungeon apartment? Perhaps you just don’t like the fact the internet makes you easy to find. Thankfully, it’s not that hard to delete yourself entirely. Here’s how to do it.

For mildly famous (or infamous) individuals, disappearing is essentially impossible, but for the average person it’s surprisingly easy.

. . . .

Step 1: Delete Your Social Network Accounts

Chances are the first results that pop up on a Google search of your name are your social network profiles. This likely includes things like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, and anywhere else you’re using your real name. So, the first step to commit internet suicide is to remove these profiles.

. . . .

Step 2: Remove Unwanted Search Results

Once you get rid of your social profiles, content is likely still floating around the web that you need to get rid of. They might be images, articles, or even employer websites. The first thing to do is figure out where you’re showing up online in search results. Search Google and make a note (or bookmark) where you name shows up on web sites.

You essentially have one course of action to remove this content: contact the source directly. Email the web site hosting the content and politely ask them to remove it (or at least remove your name). A quick email works well for places like former employers who still haven’t removed you from the employees list, family members who post pictures of you on their personal blogs, or even on donation pages for causes you’ve supported. In due time it will drop from search results.

After that, you can appeal to the search engines directly to remove the edited pages right away. You can do so through Google, Google Images, or Bing by filling out a simple form and requesting the URL to be indexed again. This doesn’t always work, but it’s worth a shot. You’ll have a better chance if someone is publishing libelous content about you, breaking a copyright of any kind, or if a page is displaying confidential information about you.

Link to the rest at Lifehacker

Why would an author want to do this? Most authors’ problem isn’t too much exposure, it’s too little.

However, if you’ve written some terrible books and want to get a new start with a new pen name, you might want to get rid of your former writing persona and all the nasty things people said about your work.

Or you might want to separate your zombie cowboy erotica from your real name to avoid endangering your day job.

Self-Publicity, Social Media

5 Comments to “How to Commit Internet Suicide and Disappear from the Web Forever”

  1. One solution is to not publish hasty crap in the first place.

  2. What I find really creepy (and what the full article gets more into) are the sites that tell people where you live and your estimated income. You know, “Elderly rich lady, living alone right here!” They’re basically treasure maps for home invaders.

    • The open exchange of information on the Internet is definitely a two-edged sword, Mary. Prior to the Internet, you could get the same public information, but the process was more difficult and time-consuming.

    • I wouldn’t worry too much about those sites (or trust them). They think my sister is 80 years old–she’s really in her twenties. She gets mail from AARP anyway…

  3. How did you find out about my zombie cowboy erotica? I thought the pen name was sufficient cover.

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