Radiohead have wiped themselves off the Internet. It started slowly over many days. The band’s website decreased its opacity, and now Radiohead.com loads a blank, white page. The band’s Twitter account displays absolutely no tweets, its Google+ and Facebook pages are blank, and many fans received mysterious leaflets reading “burn the witch” and “we know where you live.” If you too want to pull a Radiohead and disappear completely — and there are plenty of perfectly good reasons to do just that — into the ether, here’s how to do it.
Delete your Facebook account.
This is your de facto Internet presence. It’s how you RSVP to events, share pictures of your adventures, and trade witticisms with friends and family. Burn it to the ground! Click the account menu at the top right of any Facebook page, select “Settings,” click “Security” in the left column, and choose “Deactivate your account.” Follow the steps that appear in the following dialogue to confirm your decision.
Delete all other social media presences.
Twitter, Flickr, LinkedIn, Chess.com — whatever it is, it’s gotta go. Make a list of your residual accounts at other sites and follow whatever instructions are necessary to blow them out of the water.
Don’t forget about Google+.
We know you did.
Google yourself to find things you forgot about.
Your memory is not so great that you’ll remember 100 percent of your Internet activities over the course of your lifetime. Google’s memory, however, is more than adept enough to save the day here. Put your name in quotes, e.g. “John Smith,” to force the search engine to display pages that show exactly those letters in exactly that order. Unsubscribe, delete, and contact site administrators as needed in order to disappear in a puff of digital smoke.
Unsubscribe from all your email lists and delete your email accounts.
Who actually enjoys email? It’s all spam and work-related anyway. Most email lists will have a handy one-click unsubscribe link at the bottom of every email they send. Depending on the subscription, however, you may have to log in to a site or complete a more elaborate process.
Not every account can be deleted so easily. In these instances, falsify details as needed about your name, birthday, address, and whatever other personal details they retain about you.
File requests with data clearing houses to squelch your details.
There are many companies whose entire business revolves around selling your data to marketers or any other entity who wants large swaths of data on people. As they are disparate and plentiful, there are a number of companies aimed specifically at removing your records from their datasets, like justdelete.me and abine.com.
Build a shack in the woods and live alone until you die.
This is the natural result of all these actions. We wish you the best, at least until the next Radiohead album comes out.
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