Deleted Facebook images accessible for 'three years'

Image: dan taylor/Flickr.

Given the cutting-edge technological reputation of Facebook, you’d perhaps think profile holders need only execute a simple button press in order to swiftly cast unwanted or embarrassing photographs into social networking oblivion.

However, it would appear that personal images deleted by users are still doing the rounds on Facebook for up to three years after that initial button press.

Zuckerberg & Co. have this week revealed that not all images are removed “in a reasonable period of time” and that access to them can still be gained by Facebook users that maintain a direct link to the deleted image(s).

What that means is, for example, a Facebook photograph emailed out to friends can still be viewed via the original email link even though the image no longer appears on the user’s photo page.

Technology site Ars Technica points to concerns raised when a photo of a naked baby was found to be accessible this month, even though it had supposedly been deleted from Facebook back in 2008.

Although the problem doesn’t cover every image deletion, it’s an intermittent issue repeatedly highlighted by account holders—and one that Facebook has been promising to address for some time.

According to the world’s leading social network, an upcoming system update will finally put the problem to rest. However, that fix will only result in all deleted images being completely removed from the site after a period of up to 45 days.

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