Guess what, social media junkies? Your deleted Facebook photos are probably still on the company's servers.
That means that if someone has the direct link to your unwanted .jpg file, it's possible they can still access the photo.
It's a problem that was discovered by tech source Ars Technica three years ago. And it's an issue that Facebook promises to address.
The real problem lies with the way that content is removed from the site. Sure, it seems easy enough to delete photos. Facebook outlines the process. You click through a few steps and your photo disappears from the site.
But it doesn't disappear from Facebook servers.
The company has addressed this issue in its Statement of Rights and Responsibilities. It likens deleting a photo to erasing content from your computer. First it goes into your Windows OS' recycling bin. It may have been "removed" from your desktop, but it still exists. Only when the recycling bin is emptied is the file permanently removed.
It's the same with Facebook photos. You may "delete" them off the site, but it's still in the vast recycling bin of Facebook's servers. Only when they're wiped off that side will photos be truly eliminated.
Some individuals are not exactly pleased. Unhappy Facebook users emailed Ars Technica asking for help on how to erase pictures. Several photos -- deleted years ago -- are still accessible.
Facebook claims the problem originates from an inoperative system that was supposed to delete photos. It never worked properly.
The company says it is now in the process of developing a new system that will effectively delete photos within 45 days of the removal request, according to Ars Technica. Deleted Facebook photos will really be wiped, no longer accessible to those with a direct URL link. The changes are expected to come in the next few months.
- Are your deleted photos still on Facebook? (MSNBC)
- Should Judges Consider Facebook Posts at Sentencing? (FindLaw's Technologist)
- Facebook 'Sponsored Stories' Lawsuit Can Go Forward, Judge Rules (Findlaw's Technologist)