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A Facebook account can be deleted by clicking on the drop-down menu at the far right of top blue bar across the top of the page. Select Setting, and then on the left of the page click 'Your Facebook Information'. You will then have the option to 'Permanently delete your Facebook account and information'.
Facebook gives users up to 30 days to recover an account after it has been deleted. One simply has to login into the account and select the option to 'Cancel Deletion'.
During this 30 day period, the information posted to an individual's account will not be displayed to other users. Facebook's posting here regarding the deletion of accounts notes that, "It may take up to 90 days from the beginning of the deletion process to delete all the things you've posted. While we're deleting this information, it's not accessible to other people using Facebook."