Facebook Still Not Deleting Photos From CDN: Ars Technica

By Fahmida Y. Rashid  |  Posted 2012-02-08 Print this article Print

Almost three years after Facebook promised to look into why photos deleted by users were still accessible online, the photos are still available, reported Ars Technica.

Facebook offers the option to delete photos, but it appears the images are removed only from the site and not from the content delivery networks it uses to speed up user experience. Anyone who has the direct link to the image is able to navigate to it, even if it's not accessible from Facebook directly.

Ars Technica originally brought the issue to Facebook's attention back in 2009, and the social networking site promised a fix was on the way. Facebook was "working with our content delivery network (CDN) partner to significantly reduce the amount of time that backup copies persist," the social networking giant said at the time.

Ars Technica this month tested out some of the links to deleted images and found the images were still available, nearly three years after the initial 2009 report. Ars had also followed up with Facebook in Oct. 2010. The tested links belonged to staffers and to readers who had submitted their own links for testing.

On Feb.3, Facebook admitted that its older systems for storing uploaded content "did not always delete images from content delivery networks in a reasonable period of time even though they were immediately removed from the site." Facebook is apparently finishing up a newer system that would make the process quicker, according to the Ars report.

In contrast to Twitter and Flickr, where images are deleted instantly, Facebook's new system, when finally live, would ensure photos are fully deleted within 45 days of the removal request being received.

Or so the spokesperson promised to Ars.

As Ars Technica's Jacqui Cheng noted, "With a company history of stretching the truth when asked about this topic - we'll have to see it before we believe it."

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