Social Media: How to Take Control 

By Áine McCormack, M.A.

Social media platforms may try to force our lives around like a playground bully, but there are times when you may want to take back control and perhaps delete social media accounts. Whether you may miss the days of anonymity, or you might want to reclaim your privacy from companies, or the account is dated, or maybe you simply aren’t interested anymore, there are many reasons why people would choose to delete their accounts.

But what if you no longer have access to the credentials you used to create the account? Or what if you are responsible for removing the profile for a family member who has passed on? These very common what-ifs could present obstacles.

A majority of social media networks have steps in place to remove profiles. Áine McCormack is Hg’s in-house specialist on access-gaining requests. In this five-part blog series, she helps readers gain access to five social media platforms: MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr.


As with other social networks, Tumblr encourages you to recover access to the email you used to create the account. If you have completely lost access to that email account, Tumblr claims that its support representatives cannot help you. The Tumblr Help page states, “… we unfortunately don’t have a way to verify that you’re the owner, and we don’t give out login information to anyone besides the owner. It’s a bummer, but don’t stress too much. You can always create a new account and start having fun all over again.” Tumblr’s standing policy could be due to the anonymity of blogs

If you are having more personal issues regarding your Tumblr account, consider explaining your situation in an email to [email protected]. Research shows that some individuals have had success removing accounts after contacting Tumbler support.

Similar to Instagram, to remove the account of a deceased person Tumblr requires that you send an email to [email protected] making the removal request. Include a link to the deceased person’s Tumblr account or Tumblr username. You’ll then work with a Tumblr representative to prove the person is deceased, with appropriate documentation such as an obituary, and to complete the process of removing the account.

Removing a social media profile— whether old or current—or a profile of a family member who has passed away is not always an easy process. Luckily, many social networks have policies in place to delete or memorialize such profiles. Executing these steps can help you gain control of and protect your online identity. The playground bully doesn’t have to rule.

Are you an analyst or investigator looking for advanced training on the latest protocols to spotlight the brightest and best in social media monitoring for protective intelligence? If so, check out Hg’s webinar series, where you can attend live sessions and receive CEUs or watch previously recorded sessions to beef up your OSINT & SOCMINT skills.


Are you looking for an investigative team to help you unearth information on a potential business partner? Acquisition? Hetherington Group leads in online and social media investigations, having trained over 180,000 corporate security professionals, attorneys, accountants, auditors, military intelligence professionals, and federal, state, and local agencies in Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) and Social Media Intelligence (SOCMINT). Our skilled analysts excel at exposing financial risks, reputational issues, criminal activity, and legal actions detrimental to your personal and business stability. Learn how our team can arm you with the data you need.

Áine McCormack, MA joined Hetherington Group in 2017 as an Investigative Analyst and Case Manager. With her keen ability to understand and summarize large amounts of information in a concise manner, she communicates to our clients exactly what they need to know, when they need to know it. Her primary tasks involve specialist desktop research and analyses of public record and open source information in support of business due diligence and other investigative projects.