Facebook Saves What You Didn’t Post


You had a bad day, your mom pissed you off. You open Facebook and start to update your status, “I am gonna kill my mom”. Before you hit post you decide you had better not post that on your wall and erase it. While the world didn’t see that, Facebook and you can bet the NSA did as well due to what Facebook calls “self-censorship”.

Unfortunately, the code in your browser that powers Facebook still knows what you typed—even if you decide not to publish it. It turns out that the things you explicitly choose not to share aren’t entirely private.

Facebook calls these unposted thoughts “self-censorship,” and insights into how it collects these nonposts can be found in a recent paper written by two Facebookers. Sauvik Das, a Ph.D. student at Carnegie Mellon and summer software engineer intern at Facebook, and Adam Kramer, a Facebook data scientist, have put online an article presenting their study of the self-censorship behavior collected from 5 million English-speaking Facebook users. (The paper was also published at the International Conference on Weblogs and Social Media.*) It reveals a lot about how Facebook monitors our unshared thoughts and what it thinks about them.

The study examined aborted status updates, posts on other people’s timelines, and comments on others’ posts. To collect the text you type, Facebook sends code to your browser. That code automatically analyzes what you type into any text box and reports metadata back to Facebook.

Spread the word by sharing our post. Don’t type anything in your Status Box unless you want it saved and stored.

Read More : slate.com

Updated: December 18, 2013 — 8:48 pm