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Facebook Blames a 'Bug' For Not Deleting Your Seemingly Deleted Videos (gizmodo.com) 66

Last week, The New York Magazine found that Facebook was archiving videos users thought were deleted. The social media company is now apologizing for failing to delete the videos, blaming it on a "bug." It adds that it's in the process of deleting the content now. Gizmodo reports: Last week, New York's Select All broke the story that social network was keeping the seemingly deleted old videos. The continued existence of the draft videos was discovered when several users downloaded their personal Facebook archives -- and found numerous videos they never published. Today, Select All got a statement from Facebook blaming the whole thing on a "bug." From Facebook via New York: "We investigated a report that some people were seeing their old draft videos when they accessed their information from our Download Your Information tool. We discovered a bug that prevented draft videos from being deleted. We are deleting them and apologize for the inconvenience. We appreciate New York Magazine for bringing the issue to our attention."
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Facebook Blames a 'Bug' For Not Deleting Your Seemingly Deleted Videos

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  • "We appreciate New York Magazine for bringing the issue to our attention."

    • by Anonymous Coward

      For any cloud service the honest thing to do would be to replace "Delete" with "Make inaccessible to you". Just assume whatever you deleted will always be there, forever.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      "deleting"
      -how quaint

  • by Anonymous Coward

    April fools?????

    • by Anonymous Coward
      yes. Keep posting your videos so fb can use them for facial recognition algos. Nothing to see here.
  • They use PHP... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by greenwow ( 3635575 ) on Tuesday April 03, 2018 @08:22PM (#56376741)

    which is a great language for prototyping or programming if you know what you're doing and you're the only dev on the project, but junior devs or even senior ones that don't know the code they're working with, it's a disaster.

    For example, I was able to prototype a search feature with an Elasticsearch backend for our inventory system in only a long weekend. By long weekend I mean working from Friday night at 6pm straight through Monday early morning 2am, but still it was only one weekend. It took three senior Java developers nearly six months to get it basically working because we wanted it in Java. My boss got frustrated and put my PHP code into production and had those Java devs update it. With every "fix" they made, I think they almost always broke other things. They knew the specs well since they had worked with them for almost six months, but that didn't help. PHP is awesome, but unless you only have one dev that is good working on the project, then things like happened to Facebook are inevitable.

    • 6 months by 3 senior devs for non-working product, vs 1 weekend by one dev for same working product. Either your senior Java devs are completely hopeless or there is more to the story.

      Surely Java has plenty of its own overhead, and more from all the overly complicated frameworks with historical baggage. But capable devs should be able to do quick prototypes and working code just as well in short time. If you take 6 months * 20 days * 3 devs = 360 days. Vs the One dev working non-stop over weekend, lets say

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Facebook was built on PHP with apache web server, they aren't even properly utilizing web sockets yet relying on $.post network storms to update information. Facebooks underlying architecture is garbage technology from around 1995 that they have massaged and tinkered into doing all sorts of back flips. Then it exploded in a sprawl of developer created add-ons along with going IPO and suddenly having an entire board full of nitwits each bellowing their egos into pet projects for the site that was must have

    • > aren't even properly utilizing web sockets yet relying on $.post network storms to update information.

      We aren't either even with an app that is expected to update inventory less than every ten seconds. We can't because our main office is in a building with Microsoft so a lot of our customers still use MSIE = 9 that doesn't support WebSockets. I imagine Facebook has the same problem with their requirements to support older browser versions.

    • Wait a goddamn second. Javascript on the server is good? LOL. Good luck with that.

      • by gweihir ( 88907 )

        The semi- to incompetent average "developer" of today thinks so. The reason is that they actually do not know anything else.

        Personally, I think nobody can reasonably be called a developer (or "coder") if they cannot competently used several languages from several paradigms. No, Java and JavaScript is not enough. But what we are seeing is more and more "1-trick ponies" (the pony that can stamp its hoof 5 times to a clue, seemingly answering the question as to what is 2+3) and far two many 2-trick ponies (Jav

    • by gweihir ( 88907 )

      Very, very unlikely. Remember that storage-space is a cost factor. They will have known exactly what was in there.

  • The real bug. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by AJWM ( 19027 ) on Tuesday April 03, 2018 @08:24PM (#56376753) Homepage

    More likely the real bug was in letting the users download these videos a part of their archives, instead of paying attention to the "deleted" flag.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Actually, I believe that "bug" has a different meaning for government agents.

      • by AHuxley ( 892839 )
        Files stay when they are been investigated.
        • by Anonymous Coward

          Files stay when they are been investigated.

          Exactly.

          And, since it could be anyone that might do something to alter the status-quo, we are all under perpetual investigation.

          Pick up that can!

          • by AHuxley ( 892839 )
            Collect it all keeps all file in place. What better place to keep files for later investigation than with the brand that collected them.
            The US gov can say they don't have files on their own computers. No FOIA will find any such projects.
            Just the ability to look back over all files that never got removed and stayed with the social media brands.

            Win win.
    • by gweihir ( 88907 )

      Indeed. These videos may have taken up much more space than anything else, there is no chance in this universe that they overlooked that they were storing them.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    We "forgot" to include actually deleting. Sure ya did!

    Seriously though, deleting is very often just a flag in the database. Often the same thing when you "delete" your account.

  • We need to #NukeFacebookFromOrbit. It's the only way to be sure.
    • Delete and even Nuke isn't going to do it (they'll have backups, somewhere).

      We need to feed it so much false personal information that the signal/noise ratio makes it useless. (It's already doing that to itself on the news front.)

      #FalsifyFacebook

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I had a conversation with my mother I'd rather kept private several years ago. Some things were said which shouldn't have been and the conversation was behind us.

    I deleted the conversation my end, 100% definitely. I also de-friended my mother, not to be mean spirited but because she couldn't figure out the different between a private message and a wall post, this is not a good thing.
    (We get along fine, believe it or not, we spoke on the phone)

    Mum got sick with cancer last year, I spent a lot of time with

  • by pdms ( 5197257 )
    By bug, they mean code. Code that they wrote. I think we need some Facebook "raid"
  • The "I wanna be POTUS" dude and Lean On Woman are embarrassments. They should be deleted.
  • Sufficiently advanced incompetence is indistinguishable from malice, to paraphrase the famous quote from Arthur C Clarke.
  • We are very very sorry (for being caught.... again and again and again)
  • Facebook also stores posts that you write but don't post. It's difficult to explain capturing text as it's typed as a bug.
  • The Actual Bug (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ZipK ( 1051658 ) on Tuesday April 03, 2018 @11:22PM (#56377515)

    The continued existence of the draft videos was discovered when several users downloaded their personal Facebook archives -- and found numerous videos they never published.

    The actual bug is that Facebook mistakenly told users of the archived deletions. Reporting of these archived deletions will now correctly be withheld from the personal Facebook archive report. That is all.

  • facebook is big, the amount of compute and storage required are gigantic, i've worked in large data centers, but even those will be nothing compared to theirs.
    but, i can't imagine nobody is noticing all this wasted disk space?

  • by Walter White ( 1573805 ) on Wednesday April 04, 2018 @08:03AM (#56379269)

    I'm shocked, shocked to find user data not being deleted when requested.

    Here is your deleted user data sir.

  • In other news Facebook is now selling hard drives at a discount!
  • The bug is called "We Don't Want To".

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