I stopped using Facebook a long time ago, but I didn’t want to remove my account and have no visibility on how or what Facebook might be showing about me or someone using my name. So I decided to simply remove all my Facebook content.
Just over a year and a half ago, on January 30, 2012, I deleted every single Wall post I had ever made. By hand. One. By. One.
Last October, I logged in for a look-see and was stunned to find out that all of my deleted posts had been restored by Facebook and were present on my Timeline for all my friends to see. I fumed. I cursed them loudly on Twitter. And I deleted, not hid, deleted, every single one of my Wall posts again. By hand. One. By. One.
Today, I logged in to Facebook to check a page, and I’ll bet you can guess what’s coming.
All of my Wall posts Many of my deleted Wall posts were back on my Timeline as if they had never been deleted! I was able to find posts all the way back to Jan 2009. I tried to go farther back, but the site is so slow, and nothing more ever loaded. It’s probably still there all right. They probably have it on some slower long-term storage server.
Although I don’t consider it redeeming in any way, all my photos are still deleted, or at least none of my albums show up.
I am stunned by Facebook’s callous disregard for their users. I simply cannot fathom that they refuse to respect my decisions to delete my posts from my Timeline. This is outrageous. I realize that I was one of Facebook’s products, am still until I delete my account, but I should be able to decide to delete something and have it deleted. And stay deleted.
The Online Merriam-Webster dictionary defines delete thusly,
: to eliminate especially by blotting out, cutting out, or erasing
It further defines eliminate,
: to put an end to or get rid of : remove
What does Facebook not understand in these definitions? Do they think they can redefine these words however they like?
I am not going to waste time deleting all of my content a third time. I can document everything I’ve said in this post, and I am tired of the big unfeeling Facebook robot who wants to waste my time. I did not want to delete my account, but now Facebook is not leaving me any choice. It seems deleting my account is the only way to remove my content.
Or is it? If Facebook doesn’t understand what should happen when I delete my wall posts, who’s to say that if I delete my account, it won’t come back too? That sounds crazy, but so does bringing back posts that were supposed to have been deleted.
Oh, and lest you’re tempted to leave a comment that goes something like “Whatever. Don’t have a hissy over some stupid Facebook posts,” the point isn’t my posts. I don’t care about the content of the posts. I do care about the fact that Facebook is deceitful. They are trying to deceive us into thinking that we can delete our posts, when we can’t. Facebook is the all-powerful, second only to Google in its uncaring robotic logic. They can and do whatever they like with my posts, whenever they like.
That is why I won’t use Facebook any more. That is why I may delete my Facebook account. And that is why you should too.
July 2, 2013 Update: As I started looking more closely into the details of my timeline today with the help of a Facebook engineer who contacted me on the blog, I’ve noticed that while many of the posts I deleted have returned, a few that I remember particularly have not, or at least I haven’t found them yet. Therefore I am unable to confirm that Facebook has restored all of my deleted posts; only a large number of them. I’ve amended the text of the post accordingly.
July 4, 2013 Update: If you are coming to this blog from a website called Real Clear Technology, that is pretending that I am a contributor to their site, please note that I do not write for Real Clear Technology, nor am I affiliated with them in any way. They simply placed a link on their site to my blog. The AP picture placed next to the link on their front page is not me.