Tuesday, October 12, 2010

3125 Facebook and Me

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

"It is not hard to succeed professionally.
What is hard is to succeed with your integrity intact."
-- Dennis Prager --


I mentioned a while ago that I was banned from Facebook.

I had built a profile way back when it was still sort of newish, and put a few photos out there, and then discovered that in posting the photos, I shared the copyright with Facebook, and they could do anything they wanted with my photos. So I deleted them, and then found out that deleting them meant only that other users couldn't see them, but that Facebook retained them. So I attempted to delete the entire profile, and found out that Facebook still retained the info.

I got pissed. I insisted that Facebook delete everything I had ever put out there. They said ok, but then didn't. So I threatened to sue. Then I discovered that in Canada a class action suit had been filed, practically the same day I made my threat, over pretty much the same issue.

Facebook's response was ok, done, all your info is deleted. I don't know if it was or not, but one thing that did happen was that when I attempted to go to Facebook later to visit someone else's profile, or attempted to create a new clean profile for myself with no photos or personal information, I got an error message saying that I was not allowed, that I was not qualified.

They knew it was me, were able to recognize my name, my address, my email address, and my laptop - I tried various combinations of fakes. I guess they weren't happy about the thought of another lawsuit, and I was banned.

I figured out that they had planted cookies on my computer, and had retained my other identifying information, and that's how they knew it was me. I deleted the cookies, created another email id, and set up a Facebook profile under an assumed name. (Ya gotta have one these days, because there are online businesses whose only website is on Facebook.)

That was at least two years ago. Turns out they still don't delete stuff. See this article: http://www.switched.com/2010/10/12/deleted-facebook-photos-arent-really-deleted/

They can identify people they don't like by planting cookies and remembering names and email addresses, but they don't know how to delete things?

It's amusing that they claim it's the nature of the beast - that it's like how when you delete a file on your hard drive the data is actually still there. Yes, that's true. When you delete from your hard drive, the file is still there, all that happens is that the pointer in the directory is zeroed out, so you can't find it by disk, folder, and filename, but if you have the actual hardware cylinder, track, and record number (or whatever the equivalent is in today's storage scheme), you can still access it, unless and until that segment of the disk, which is free space, is reused by another file. If you want to absolutely delete something, you have to specifically overwrite the disk space occupied by the file, using the hardware location, and the average user does not have that capability. But that's not what's going on here.

The difference is that with the hard disk example, once deleted you need the hardware location to get to it - the disk id, folder name, and file name won't find it because they don't exist any more in the directory. Facebook is trying to pretend that knowing the URL is the same as knowing the hardware address.

It isn't. The URL *is* analogous to and uses the directory entry! So they have made NO attempt to delete the photo even by such simple means as deleting the directory entry and freeing up the disk space. They simply deleted profile links to it.

THAT IS NOT DELETION!!!!!!!!!!!!!! They still retain easy access to it for themselves.

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