Deleting A Facebook Photo—That’s What You Think…

Deleting A Facebook Photo—That’s What You Think…We’ve all had some embarrassing photos posted to Facebook (or had them posted by others). If caught quickly enough and deleted, everything is good, right? Wrong. The photos are still there and can be accessed through the original direct URL links. Facebook has known about this for three years. Yet the problem remains. Oops?

Out of sight, out of mind, problem solved? The truth is the photos are still there, with only direct links and access to them are removed. If you (or anyone else) still knows the direct URL link to the photo, you can still access it. The photo could be there for months, even years.

You’ve heard a lot that once you post something online it’s there forever. While it’s common for youth today to not take stock in this concept or fully grasp the repercussions of some of their online actions, the truth of the matter is a lot of us don’t either.

Politicians tweet something in the heat of the moment, regret it then delete it. All better? Hardly. Someone’s seen it. Someone’s always sees it. They may have even taken a screen cap too, sent it to friends, posted it online, etc. “I’m sorry” comes next but the damage is done. Oops.

The same thing goes with Facebook. An oops photo posted can be removed but that doesn’t mean it’s erased from time. It can come back to haunt you, especially when Facebook doesn’t actually delete it.

The fix is on its way “soon” but judging from how long Timeline got delayed, and the fact a fix is already 3 years late, I wouldn’t hold my breath. While the old system didn’t delete your photos, the new one will actually delete the photos (for real) within 45 days.

Just remember, when posting things online always think first. Don’t let an oops happen to you. It only takes a second, but it can last a lifetime (or maybe just 45 days?).

Scott Cornell

When he’s not knee deep in blogging and all things tech, Scott spends his free time playing ultimate Frisbee and watching foreign films. An expert in emerging tech trends, Scott always has his ear to ground for breaking news related to IT security.