So, you’ve decided to take out some photos you’ve uploaded on a social networking site. You hit the delete button and when the site told you the your photos have been deleted you left the site hurriedly. One month later, you chanced upon the direct link to the photos you thought you deleted already but lo and hold your photos were still there. Do social networking sites really delete the photos after you’ve deleted them? Apparently they did not, says a BBC report citing a research by Cambridge University reasearchers.The Cambridge researchers experimented on this matter by uploading photos on seven social sites. After uploading they deleted the photos but took note of the direct URLs to the photos assigned by the sites. Thirty days later, they checked each of the URLs and found out that the links are still valid and still showing the photos.
And guess what? Facebook is one of those seven sites. Facebook says that it removes photos as soon as users delete them from their servers. Apparently, this doesn’t seem to be true. Interestingly, Flickr, Google’s Picasa and Microsoft Windows Live Spaces seem to be better when it comes to this matter. In fact, Windows Live Spaces deletes the photos as soon as users decide to delete them.
Facebook says deleted photos are removed from its servers “immediately”.
The Cambridge University researchers said special photo-sharing sites, such as Flickr and Google’s Picasa, did better and Microsoft’s Windows Live Spaces removed the photos instantly.
Explaining findings, one of the Cambridge researchers said that this only goes to show how lazy social networking sites are when it comes to simple matters relating to user privacy.
Interestingly, Facebook denied the research findings and explained that it is normal that URLs of the photos would still exist even after users delete them.
So, the next time you upload photos to Facebook, you might want to check its policy on photo uploading first.