Facebook now actually deletes photos

Facebook is finally removing photographs that have been flagged for deletion, reports Jacqui Cheng of Ars Technica, who has been tracking the timeliness of image deletions on Facebook for more than the last three years.

Cheng found that photos that were deleted from Facebook, both submitted from readers of Ars Technica and direct links that she had been tracking herself for research purposes, were finally disappearing for good since February 2012. She tested this more recently and found that photos were being deleted in as quickly as two days.

It wasn't always this easy. In 2009, Ars Technica tested four social networking sites to see how fast deleted photos would disappear from the Internet. Back then, Cheng found that photos were removed from the content delivery networks of Twitter and Flickr after a few short seconds of deletion. However, MySpace and Facebook weren't quite as efficient, with images remaining on MySpace for up to several months later, while Facebook took more than a year to delete Cheng's photos. Multiple readers of Ars Technica pointed out that their photo links were still working, even three years later and longer.

The recent improvement can be attributed to policy updates at Facebook. "As a result of work on our policies and infrastructure, we have instituted a 'max-age' of 30 days for our CDN links," Facebook spokesperson Frederic Wolens said. "However, in some cases the content will expire on the CDN much more quickly, based on a number of factors."

Good news for everyone who has uploaded a photo and regretted it.

Source: Ars Technica

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