Facebook Now Actually Deleting Photos After Users Delete Them?

August 17th, 2012

Breaking URLs is not “confirmation” that Facebook is deleting the data. It’s confirmation that the data isn’t accessible from the Internet. This says zippo about what they’re actually doing with the data.

I suppose it’s possible that Facebook is deleting the data, but claiming that the data was deleted because it’s not accessible is a ridiculous stretch.

Via: Ars Technica:

Since February, all of the direct photo links that were sent to me by Ars readers disappeared, and I began deleting my own photos again from Facebook’s site to see how long it would take for them to be removed from the CDN. I tested this with two photos while saving their direct URLs, and both photos became inaccessible within two days of deletion.

Wolens confirmed to Ars that this was a result of Facebook’s new photo deletion policy and storage systems.

“As a result of work on our policies and infrastructure, we have instituted a ‘max-age’ of 30 days for our CDN links,” Wolens told Ars this week. “However, in some cases the content will expire on the CDN much more quickly, based on a number of factors.”

Wolens wouldn’t elaborate on what those factors are, but he did emphasize once again that people casually surfing Facebook would stop seeing the photo immediately upon deletion.

“As you know, the photos stop being shown to other users on Facebook immediately when the photo is first deleted by the user. The 30-day window only applies to the cached images on the CDN,” Wolens said.

Better late than never, but 3+ years is still quite a while for the world’s most popular social network to figure out how to remove images from its CDN properly.

2 Responses to “Facebook Now Actually Deleting Photos After Users Delete Them?”

  1. alvinroast Says:

    Facebook very clearly doesn’t claim to be deleting the photo. The quote you presented says it all. “we have instituted a ‘max-age’ of 30 days for our CDN links”.

    This has to be a case of willful ignorance on the part of Ars Technica to suggest that photos are deleted.

  2. Kevin Says:

    This is THE dumbest article I’ve ever read on Ars. They’re usually competent over there. I don’t know what happened this time.

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