Why Deleted Facebook Photos May Still Be Online

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    Flickr User Andreas H. Lunde

  • Breathing a sigh of relief because you were able to delete an incriminating Facebook photo? Think again: it could still be online, years later. Ars Technica reports that Facebook is having difficulty keeping up with the demand from users to erase certain unsavory parts of their past from the Internet’s watchful eye.

    “The systems we used for photo storage a few years ago did not always delete images from content delivery networks in a reasonable period of time even though they were immediately removed from the site,” Facebook spokesperson Frederic Wolens told Ars Technica in an e-mail.

    The new system’s “faster” service may still shock some users, as it takes up to 45 days to securely wipe a photo from the service. At over 800 million users, nearly half of them daily users, it’s an unwieldy task to execute on all of the demands from users.

    The delay is good new for law enforcement and employers who scout Facebook for photos for illegal activity and incriminating photos of potential employees. But, for the rest of Facebook’s growing population, it is just another sacrifice for using the service.

    What do you think about it taking 45 days to delete a photo? Will it make you less likely to upload pictures in the future?