Facebook has been around in some form or another since 2004, so many of us have been on the platform for around a decade, perhaps more. A lot of things change over that time — people grow, old groups are forgotten about. But a new change over at Facebook means you’ll suddenly be reminded of any old Facebook Groups you were in and asked whether it’s finally time to delete them.
I woke up this morning to an alert to become the admin of a Facebook Group I hadn’t heard of in years. It was a group created by someone at uni when we were partnered together for an assignment.
Strange, I thought, but a good opportunity to clean out my digital closet. I accepted the admin request and then fished around for the big ol’ ‘Delete group’ button. Eventually, I found it, clicked and it was back to my regular morning routine.
A few hours later, I was invited to another group — an even older one from 2011/2012 that my younger cousins had made and invited me too. Haunted by the memories of my younger self on social media, I decided to read why Facebook was doing this.
Essentially, Facebook is also cleaning out its digital closet and tidying up all those tiny groups we made back in its earlier days. In a post on 17 September, the social media giant said the move was a part of its strategy to try and reduce harmful content and misinformation — particularly in those un-moderated groups.
Its also because the Messenger app has largely become the dominant form of communication between friends and Groups is really reserved for more community interactions, not uni assignments between two people.
If you’re apart of any of these dinosaur Facebook Groups that don’t have a dedicated admin, you’ll be prompted to become an admin or risk it getting deleted. For me, I’m thankful it’s the latter.
“This group doesn’t have any admins,” Facebook’s stern warning reads.
“If there are no admins for a while, this group will be archived. Admins help keep groups safe by managing the group’s settings, membership and posts. Do you want to be an admin in this group?”
The answer will most likely be no unless there are truly some treasured memories in there.
My dinosaur Facebook Groups don’t need saving. How do I delete them now?
If you don’t want to wait around for someone over at the Facebook machine to delete your vintage group, you can simply do it yourself but it’s not that easy.
Firstly, accept that admin request. The three-dot menu button will allow you to archive the group but it certainly doesn’t delete it. To absolutely remove it from Facebook, you’ll have to go through the member list and delete each member.
Once that’s done, you have to leave the group too, which should offer a prompt about the group dying.
Slam that leave button and watch your retro group fade away into online oblivion. You’re welcome.