Question from Alex P.: This is probably a dumb question but I’ll ask it anyway.
Will my friends (and their friends) still be able to see a photo that I deleted after they have “shared” it?
I posted a picture a few days ago that I shouldn’t have posted and it was shared like crazy by my friends. I deleted it this morning, but will they still be able to see it?
I really hope the answer is no.
Rick’s answer: Alex, when someone “shares” one of your photos it doesn’t actually go into their account with their own photos. The photo they share is still your photo, and if you delete it, it’s gone.
Anyone who has shared the deleted photo will no longer see it themselves, and neither will any of their friends. They will see a message like this instead:
But the above being said, if someone else saved your picture to their computer or mobile device and then uploaded it to their own account, that copy of your photo will remain in their account even if you delete the original photo from your account.
And their friends will still be able to see it too (depending on the privacy level they assigned to the post of course).
It’s also important to understand that photos that are originally uploaded to Facebook often don’t remain just on Facebook.
They are often downloaded and then emailed to other people, posted on other social media sites like Twitter and Pinterest, and even posted on sites that have less than respectable reputations.
While you can add photos to your own Facebook account and remove them at will, you can’t control what happens to your photos after other people have seen them.
If it can be seen on a computer screen, it can be copied and used in any way another person sees fit to use it.
In other words, once a photo you upload to the Internet is viewed on a screen you instantly lose control over who will ultimately be allowed to see it.
Therefore, it’s very important to always assume that any photos you upload to Facebook (or to any other website for that matter) can easily be spread around the Internet within minutes without your knowledge or approval.
Always remember that just deleting a photo from your own account won’t affect someone else who might have stolen it.
Bottom line: The short answer to your question is no, Alex. You deleted that photo from your Facebook account so it will no longer show up in any of the shares other users have created. But that alone is no guarantee that it’s truly gone from Facebook – or even the Internet at large.
Bonus tip #1: This post explains why there really is no such thing as privacy on Facebook.
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