There’s an old saying that, once something has been uploaded to the Internet, it can not be truly deleted. The nature of the Web, one where content is copied and pasted constantly, makes it impossible, at least in theory, to actually remove any work added to it, no matter how hard one may try.
As true as that may be, what happens if you decide you want to pack up and leave the Web altogether? That you aren’t comfortable having a Web site, blog, Flickr account or anything else in your name? Perhaps its privacy concerns that bother you, a change of heart about what’s important in life or just a wish to have a fresh start. Either way, what happens after you hit “delete” and say goodbye.
As it turns out, the answer isn’t as simple as many think. Removing your content from the Web is not as easy as canceling your accounts, nor is it completely impossible. Much of it depends on the type of content you’ve produced, where you’ve placed it and how the public has responded to it.
There are a lot of questions about where your content goes after you delete it, questions well worth considering just in case one day you do decide to pull the plug. [Read more…]