Those Deleted Facebook Pics? Not Actually Deleted

Sixteen months later, one writer's photo can still be found
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 17, 2010 4:12 PM CDT
The Facebook logo is displayed at a news conference in New York in this November 6, 2007 file photo.   (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle, file)

(Newser) – Despite all Facebook’s talk about improving privacy, it still takes an awfully long time for photos to actually be deleted from the site. Jacqui Cheng experimented with deleting one of her photos from Flickr, Twitter, MySpace, and Facebook last year. Flickr and Twitter removed the photos within seconds—meaning that the direct link to the photo stopped working almost immediately. MySpace and Facebook, however, were slower—and now, 16 months later, the direct link to Cheng’s deleted Facebook photo still works.

Of course, the only way to access such a deleted photo is by using the direct URL. A Facebook spokesperson defends the site’s slowness—"for all practical purposes, the photo no longer exists"—and says it's working with its content delivery network to shrink the amount of time that deleted photos remain in its cache. Even so, Cheng writes on Ars Technica, “If you don't want to give your enemies blackmail material, don't upload questionable photos in the first place.” Click here for more Facebook privacy flaps.

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