'Deleted' Facebook photos still online: website


Posted at Feb 09 2012 10:28 AM | Updated as of Feb 11 2012 01:16 AM

MANILA, Philippines - You or your friend may have deleted the incriminating photos you have posted on your Facebook account, but these images are still swimming around the world wide web, according to a technology news website.

Ars Technica reported early this week that for over three years, any photo that a Facebook user has "deleted" is removed from the social networking site, but remains accessible via a direct link.

"When we first investigated this phenomenon in 2009, we discovered that photos 'deleted' from Facebook seemingly never go away if you have a direct link to the image file on Facebook's servers... as long as someone had a direct link to the .jpg file in question, the photo would remain accessible for an indefinite amount of time," the report said.

"It's hard to believe that we've been following this story over a period of years and the problem hasn't been fixed yet," it added.

Ars Technica noted, though, that Facebook has claimed that it is fixing its content systems so "deleted" photos are really removed from the web within 45 days.

Citing Facebook spokesperson Frederic Wolens, the website said the social networking site may be able to solve this problem in two months.

"We have been working hard to move our photo storage to newer systems which do ensure photos are fully deleted within 45 days of the removal request being received. The process is nearly complete and there is only a very small percentage of user photos still on the old system awaiting migration," Wolens was quoted as saying.

"We expect this process to be completed within the next month or two, at which point we will verify the migration is complete and we will disable all the old content."