General Question

raven860's avatar

Would it be at all possible to recover data of a deleted Facebook profile?

Asked by raven860 (2144 points ) December 16th, 2011

I had read a while ago that Facebook saves multiple copies of all data entered into a Facebook profile even after it is deleted. If one was to contact them about a (my) Facebook profile (that I have deleted)...would it be possible realistically or theoretically to recover data of say more than two years ago? what about two days ago?

My guess is no. Even if the process is do-able, its too painful? What if a court ordered it?—-(if that would even happen/does happen?)

Anyone knowlegable about Facebook or better yet a Facebook employee willing to answer this?

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8 Answers

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

If you reinstate your account it should just bring (most) of it back up, instantly.

elbanditoroso's avatar

In addition to Anef’s advice, please be aware that Facebook makes available a “download everything” utility that packacges everything about you – pictures, comments, etc. – into one nice big ZIP file.

See https://www.facebook.com/blog.php?post=434691727130 and also https://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=10150292657680484

Of course, you need to this ahead of time, but it’s a good way to keep an archival copy of everything.

tedd's avatar

As @ANef_is_Enuf said…. They never delete your profile, it will be on their database forever.

If you re-start your profile, all the info you had will still be there, including wall posts.

raven860's avatar

@ANef_is_Enuf I actually permanently deleted my account (It is different than deactivating it….its permanent).

Even though I have done that, I have read that Facebook likes to keep all the data even after deletion (Just a fact: they pretty much own it once its uploaded and can do as they like with it…as per the ULA as it was earlier—when I last checked).

What I am asking for is more than likely something that can’t be done on the customer end of the interface. I highly doubt it can be done at all…but you never know…

robmandu's avatar

Depends on exactly what you mean by “recover” and by whom.

As a normal end-user who has deleted posts from his Wall, no, there’s no button you can click to bring it back as if it hadn’t been deleted.

A Facebook engineer with access to the database might have the technical capability to do so, but is likely prevented by any number of internal rules… and good luck ever making contact with one in the first place.

Now, as @elbanditoroso mentioned, you can request FB to send you “hard copy” of everything they have on you. With that information in hand, you could likely recover your lost data…. but it’d be up to you to figure out how to restore an old Wall post or something from there.

raven860's avatar

@robmandu @elbanditoroso

So what would be the steps to get Facebook to hand me all the data they have on me.
http://yro.slashdot.org/story/11/09/28/1344218/european-users-overwhelm-facebook-with-data-requests

I thought I had read a case on this thread which talked about someone in their early 20s from the U.K who had done exactly that.

raven860's avatar

@robmandu

Thanks for the link.

It says Facebook is required by law to give that information to everyone except people in U.S and Canada. I will definitely be giving it a try though. Know of any other ideas or U.S laws or such cases?

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