Do you remember that one exceedingly inappropriate picture you thought you deleted? Facebook certainly does. It turns out that pictures deleted from any of the website’s online albums can remain in storage on their servers for up to sixteen months, or what Facebook calls “a reasonable period.” Ha.

The clearly unreasonable removal period stems from the fact that when you choose to “delete” a photo from your account, Facebook only immediately removes all of the links to that photo, and not the photo itself. That means that anyone with the original URL can still access the file until it is officially deleted from Facebook’s servers. Which, apparently, takes seven times longer than the Mayflower voyage. And that shit was long.

Before you freak out, Facebook spokesperson Simon Axten points out that:

“For all practical purposes, the photo no longer exists, and we wouldn’t be able find it if we were asked or even compelled to do so … This is similar to what happens when you delete information from the hard drive of your computer.”

That may be the case, but it is also the case that Facebook is routinely archived and indexed by search engines and hackers. Just last July, for instance, personal information from 100 million Facebook profiles was leaked onto the internet. Yikes!

So think before you post. And for those times when forethought is not a possibility, at least try to specify a designated poster.

Image Source: luc legay under Creative Commons
Facebook ‘Delete’ Can Take 16 Embarrassing Months [Gawker]

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Zdzisław Król said:
Mar 23, 2012 at 12:46 am