If you’re one of the more than 1.3 billion people who use Facebook on a regular basis, you’ve probably experienced occasions when you decided against posting something before you hit “Enter” and assumed that whatever it was that you had typed would be permanently deleted. This is not actually the case, according to Ireland-based tech consultant Priomh O hUiginn, who says that despite Facebook’s claims to the contrary, every comment or status update an individual types is sent to their servers whether one deletes it before posting or not.
“I was inspecting Facebook’s network traffic today in Firefox Devtools,” O hUiginn wrote on his blog, “when I realized that any text I put into the status update box was sent to Facebook’s servers, even if I did not click the post button.” Although Facebook asserts that it does not store this information, O hUiginn is rightly concerned that the social media giant collects the “self-censored” data in the first place. He observed: This is outright Orwellian, and inconvenient. Since I am now aware of this, I am more cautious about what I enter into the text area, however I can’t help but notice the adverse effect of my new found awareness – am I experiencing the censorship of my own thoughts because of a faceless entity such as Facebook that doesn’t care about you? I very much believe that is the case. A recent study regarding self-censorship on Facebook found that 71 percent of the network’s regular users have deleted text before posting it. Facebook’s excuse for collecting these self-censored texts is that it is searching them for the names of other members – a bit like the way that Google and other apps employ an auto-suggest feature. MORE