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Phil Simon

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Workplace-Technology Guru • Advisor Professor

Thoughts on Facebook’s Mistaken Deletions

The company's explanation doesn't come close to passing the smell test.
Apr | 1 | 2019

No, this is not an April Fool’s joke.

It’s easy to miss key events in a non-stop newscycle. I do all the time. Odds are that you may not have caught the Business Insider piece titled Years of Mark Zuckerberg’s old Facebook posts have vanished. The company says it ‘mistakenly deleted’ them. From the article:

On multiple occasions, years-old public posts made by the 34-year-old billionaire chief executive that were previously public and reported on by news outlets at the time have since vanished, Business Insider has found. That includes all of the posts he made during 2007 and 2008.

Reached for comment, a Facebook spokesperson said the posts were “mistakenly deleted” due to “technical errors.”

Yeah, right.

Read the whole piece with a critical eye and you’ll be aghast.

You don’t need to Facebook’s CTO to understand that the company routinely backs up user data. After all, it’s in the freaking data business. Sure, Facebook stores untold petabytes of user data but data storage has never been cheaper.

If this is true, then is it any wonder that Facebook is mired in so many privacy scandals?

Beyond that, Facebook embraced cloud computing since at least 2011. I find it impossible to believe that only one copy of key company announcements exists and Facebook’s techies cannot retrieve them. I’m let with more questions than answers:

  • Even if you accept the company’s incredulous explanation, what does that say about the way that it handles key pieces of information?
  • If it can’t keep tabs on its own posts, is it any wonder that they company is mired in privacy scandals?

Simon Says

Six months ago I quit Facebook after more than eleven years as a daily active user. It wasn’t an easy decision but the time was right. As for regrets, patently false statements by company bigwigs such as these make me feel better and better about my decision.


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