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I'm deleting some older posts from Facebook.

These are made up of my original posts, my comments and, depending, might have; likes, other people's comments, images and shares.

When this material is deleted does it indeed get wiped (eventually) from all Facebook servers?

In other words is it truly gone and irrecoverable?

(NOTE: I did look at the Facebook Terms of Service in this area, they have disabled queries about this sort of thing both for US and "rest of world".

The Terms and Condition (https://www.facebook.com/about/privacy) only guarantees deletion of (all) content when an account is deleted.)

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No. From Facebook Help Centre:

What happens to content (posts, pictures) that I delete from Facebook?

When you choose to delete something you shared on Facebook, we remove it from the site. Some of this information is permanently deleted from our servers; however, some things can only be deleted when you permanently delete your account.

  • Thanks. I saw that but it's not definitive. It uses the word SOME in two places but isn't specific. – Mike Gale Nov 27 '15 at 5:37
  • @MikeGale: They have not made it clear. So only Facebook can answer about this. But as per my knowledge, no social media delete server side data. In case of Facebook, if you write something to post, and you didn't post, still it goes to Facebook server. But once you delete something, it is irrecoverable by user. – serenesat Nov 27 '15 at 5:43
  • Yep, I also want to know whether it's irrecoverable by anybody. (Excluding any specific grabs by government before the delete is issued.) – Mike Gale Nov 27 '15 at 6:04
  • @MikeGale: No. it is not recoverable by anybody. – serenesat Nov 27 '15 at 6:14
  • Exactly don't have remember but you can read FAQ or Facebook policies. – serenesat Nov 27 '15 at 11:10
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Only Facebook can answer this for sure, but I am a developer of web applications and I can tell you this: almost all web applications that are database driven never delete database rows because doing so would lead to orphan records and potential bugs. Rows that are no longer needed are simply marked as deleted in one of the columns and then excluded from view when data is requested an application. I don't see why Facebook would be any different than everything else that is out there. And yes, pretty much every action that you take on Facebook translates into data being saved in a database row somewhere.

Facebook may never make the deleted data available to anyone else, but it probably could be easily recovered if someone like the government, or the FBI requested it.

  • Thanks. Their architecture is complex and I don't understand it particularly well. I understand they use several sorts of persistence along the lines of: In general: MySQL and Hadoop HBase; an in-house image store called Haystack (detail not known); Messages in HBase; Logs in HDFS. With Memcached and a cdn. The code that drives that presumably has a "philosophy" (could be fragmented as this has evolved!) and a way that it actually operates. I'm hoping that somebody with inside knowledge drop by. – Mike Gale Nov 27 '15 at 5:55

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