What Happens When You Delete A Post From Facebook

What Happens When You Delete A Post From facebook

For social media users, there may come a moment when they want to delete a humiliating post, which sites such as Facebook claim is doable.

“If you publish anything and then decide you don’t want others to see it, you may remove it,” Facebook states in the site’s Privacy Basics section.

But what happens when anything is “deleted”?

When a user deletes anything, Facebook is able to guarantee that people will not see the deleted post; nevertheless, this does not imply that Facebook fully eliminates all traces of that post or that Facebook cannot recover it.

“They virtually never erase anything in current, large cloud infrastructures,” said Ken Birman, a computer science professor at Cornell who studies cloud computing. “Instead, they just keep expanding it with new versions.”

Users may be tempted to remove a post so that an employer does not see an embarrassing picture or message, particularly because the proportion of employers checking applicant social media accounts is at an all-time high, according to a recent CareerBuilder study.

Despite the fact that the site does not sell user information, according to a CareerBuilder study, 70% of employers check through a candidate’s social media accounts.

Recruitment Management Consultants in East Lansing is one such employer. According to Adrienne Moulton, Marketing and Communications Specialist at Recruitment Management Consultants.

Moulton said that they do not utilize an outside provider to check someone up online, but rather an employee would search for a candidate’s profiles. If the candidate’s profile is set to public, they can view what is publicly accessible, but they have no means of seeing postings on a private profile other than asking to friend or follow that profile, according to her.

“But I don’t know anybody who would do that,” Moulton added.

She also said that they have no means of accessing deleted posts or pictures, and she believes that few businesses can access erased content.

Ryan Gerhardt, a Music Performance and Psychology senior, is unsure if employers might possibly discover erased postings on his social media accounts. He first said that it would make him uncomfortable if they could, but then stated that it didn’t really matter since he had nothing to hide.

Gerhardt also said that in one of his MSU courses, he read about individuals getting dismissed from their jobs “for the stupidest stuff” discovered on Facebook. Employers, he claims, look at photos of their workers doing things like carrying a red Solo cup, even if they are above the age of 21.

“I don’t believe employers need to see that,” Gerhardt added. “I believe a resume should suffice.”

The easiest way to comprehend what happens to anything you attempt to delete, according to Birman, is to understand “the notion of storage being write once, read many,” or WORM for short.

The WORM idea implies that the storage, or what you’ve posted to Facebook, can’t be changed once it’s been written into the disk once.

Birman said that “in current, large cloud infrastructures, they essentially never erase anything.” “Instead, they just keep expanding it with new versions.”

According to Birman, Facebook keeps this information mainly because it is the most cost-effective way of running their systems. He said that there are many technological factors that have nothing to do with violating privacy and everything to do with efficiency and how to make these systems work more cost-effectively.

“It turns out that certain methods of utilizing computer hardware are less expensive than others,” Birman said. “And one of them is that if you keep adding to the end of a file, or a mailbox, or a strip of pictures, or whatever, it’s a lot more efficient for the computer to do that than it is to attempt to delete stuff in the middle.”

Instead of someone from Facebook going into the servers and deleting all records of a particular post that a user wants erased, it’s far simpler and less expensive to include a remark at the end of the code indicating that the user wants a specific post removed. Users will then no longer view that post, even if it is still on the server.

“Instead of erasing items in the middle, they add a notation that the item was erased. And they placed the message at the end because it’s the easiest place to put it,” he said. “Of course, when they display it to you, they have to check to see whether what they’re showing you is still there or if it’s been overwritten.” But that’s how these things typically work.”

Another reason why large businesses like Facebook keep this information is because it is simpler to do so than it is to go through and erase every trace of every post or picture that every user on the site wants deleted, according to Birman.

He suggested visualizing a photo strip and seeing Facebook collecting every photo uploaded in a five-second period — not just from one person.

Going through and identifying the picture someone requested to remove, then rewriting the code to carry out that request is much more time intensive than just putting a delete reference to the end of that strip.

“It’s not interesting from their perspective to erase the strip of pictures because it has one shot you were embarrassed by and removed,” Birman said.

Instead, they will simply ensure that it no longer appears on your profile page.

Birman further said that after a year or two, the business may need to replace the disks because they are becoming old, so they would transfer “the material that is still active” onto new disks and discard the old one, which means your humiliating message or picture may be permanently erased.

However, it is equally possible that it will not.

Even if it did, if Facebook chose to look back at the development of your profile page, they would undoubtedly be able to see all of the previous postings— whether they were removed afterwards or not.

Gerhardt said that he has erased one or two postings from Facebook, but he does not believe they are permanently removed.

“It’s similar to deleting a file on your computer; it’s not really erased; it’s simply moved someplace else,” Gerhardt said. “So I’m thinking that’s what they do on Instagram or Facebook, they simply transfer it someplace else.”

Gerhardt said he finds it difficult to trust that everything he deletes from his profile is fully erased and isn’t backed up somewhere else.

Birman said that if someone went to work for a business like Facebook, they would likely see that Facebook stores every version of your profile so they can monitor what you liked, what you stopped like, and other information that may help them position ads more effectively.

Social media sites, such as Facebook, which are free to users, rely heavily on advertising revenue.

According to Investopedia, Facebook recorded $7.9 billion in advertising income in the first quarter of 2017

This is one of the reasons Facebook would want to keep information on its users so that it can place advertisements as efficiently as possible.

Facebook and other social platforms aim to collect information about their users so that their ad placement is as effective as possible in directing traffic to their sponsors.

“They wouldn’t be able to do such a fantastic job of ad placement if they just know your character right now,” Birman said. “Because individuals aren’t even aware of it, [Facebook] discovers connections between the books they read, the websites they visit, and the kind of purchases they make or the types of advertisements they respond to.”

It’s also worth noting that removing something and concealing something don’t have the same effect.

According to Facebook’s Privacy Basics website, “Hiding allows you to retain your post but no one else will be able to see it when they visit your Timeline.” It should be noted that it may still appear in Facebook search results and other places.”

Birman said that it is impossible to control where what you publish online ends up, particularly today that everyone is posting everything and doing everything online.

If you believe in the right to privacy, he believes it’s a sad thing.

Final thoughts

“We’re substituting a right to privacy with a societal expectation of not being intrusive,” Birman said. “Does that make it a bad thing? It seems that most people are OK with it. We feel angry when it breaks down on us, although that happens very seldom, to be honest.