Question from Beverly: A man I work with but barely know sent me a nasty picture and a really disturbing comment in an instant message on Facebook and it really upset me.
I’d like to report him to HR but I’m afraid he’ll delete the picture and message before they have a chance to investigate.
I’d like to take a screenshot of the photo and message but I’m afraid if I do Facebook will notify him that I did it. Will they?
Rick’s answer: Beverly, some social media sites (Snapchat for example) do indeed notify a chat partner if you take a screenshot, but Facebook does not. You can take all the screenshots you want and the other user will never know about it.
That being said, if this man simply deletes the offending photo and message on his end that will NOT remove them from your inbox because deleting Instant Message conversations is a one-way action.
However, if the man were to delete his Facebook account before your company’s HR department has a chance to take a look at the offending items those messages will no longer bear his actual name. It will simply say “Facebook User”, the generic “name” assigned to all accounts that have been deleted.
Bottom line: You can indeed take a screenshot of anything on Facebook without the other person finding out about it. And in this case you probably should (and as quickly as possible just in case the sender decides to delete his account).
Bonus tip #1: This post explains why privacy really doesn’t exist on Facebook.
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