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Facebook having trouble emptying the trash

Marc Sanchez Feb 6, 2012

Maybe that New Years Eve party was your last hurrah before you leaving college and entering the real world. And perhaps when you shook off the fog of that night,  you regretted sending around a link to the picture you posted on Facebook that puts you at the scene of the party crime. So you delete the picture. No big deal. Bring on the six-figure income. But wait, what if Facebook never really deleted the incriminating evidence? That would be bad, right? Well then get ready, because according to Ars Technica, it’s bad.

The company admitted on Friday that its older systems for storing uploaded content “did not always delete images from content delivery networks in a reasonable period of time even though they were immediately removed from the site,” but said it’s currently finishing up a newer system that makes the process much quicker. In the meantime, photos that users thought they “deleted” from the social network months or even years ago remain accessible via direct link.

The good news is that nobody can scroll through your Timeline and find the deleted picture. The bad news is that whoever you sent that link to can still click on it and recall your indiscretion. It gets even trickier if someone else posted the picture to their page and sent it around. How are you supposed to know who has access? Ars reached out to Facebook which “explained that photos remaining online are stuck in a legacy system that was apparently never operating properly, but said the company is working on a new system that will delete the photos in a mere month and a half. For really real this time.”




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