For years, permanently deleting your photos from Facebook was harder than removing an arrow from your body. You thought you hit delete, but they often lingered on Facebook's servers for months or years, still viewable by their original Facebook URL. Speaking from personal experience, this unintended feature was a boon to journalists looking to dig up old Facebook photos that unwilling subjects might have thought they'd hidden forever.
But now Facebook really does delete their photos after 30 days, permanently, from their server, forever, according to Ars Technica. The change came in February, according to Ars, just three short years after the problem was exposed in the first place. Luckily for snooping journalists, Facebook's privacy controls are so confusing that even its own employees sometimes accidentally post private photos for all the world to gawk at.
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