Just when you thought you had even the slightest bit of control over your Facebook account, Jacqui Cheng over at Ars Technica is proving us wrong by claiming that Facebook servers actually retain your deleted images for up to sixteen months. Chen, pictured below in striking the illustrious “duckface” pose, supposedly deleted this image last May only to have it found on Facebook’s servers today. As it turns out, Facebook will remove the links to the picture immediately but don’t really seem to give much notice to the actual image file. In other words, if you still have the URL of the image, you can still have access to the deleted picture.
“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,” Facebook spokesperson Simon Axten told Ars via e-mail this week. “This is similar to what happens when you delete information from the hard drive of your computer.”
Oh Facebook, you are the thorn in our side that we somehow can’t seem to rid ourselves of. Think just for a minute what this could mean for students coming out of college looking to start their professional careers. Most of us have some rather embarrassing pictures to tell the tale of our mischievous glory days. But what would this mean for a would-be employee when a potential employer just so happens to come across an an embarrassing old, and supposedly deleted, picture of a new hire? When you remove a purchase from your shopping cart on Amazon, you don’t expect them to accidentally leave said item in there for the next sixteen months, do you? Well, I’m just saying that Facebook shouldn’t be any different.