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Facebook Collects Info on What You Don't Post
By: Jessica Cherok
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You typed out a new status update, but for whatever reason, you decided against posting it. Perhaps it was TMI (too much information), or a thinly veiled humble brag. You may have deleted the update, but as it turns out Facebook didn’t.

Last week, an article in Slate discussed what Facebook calls “self-censorship” and the social media giant’s use of the information you don’t share. According to the article, two Facebook employees published an online paper recently discussing about how “Facebook monitors our unshared thought and what it thinks about them.”

Whether or not users will be creeped out by this Facebook revelation remains to be seen. While it probably isn’t something users thought Facebook would be doing, it isn’t all that uncommon either. Lots of websites store your activities, saving them as drafts or in shopping carts in case you want to come back to them later.

For the most part, no one thinks that kind of saving is creepy at all, but that’s not what Facebook is doing with the information. They’re just collecting that it happened. The paper’s authors insist that Facebook isn’t collecting the actual text of the posts, but just that the posts occurred and that they were ultimately deleted.

Check out the self-censorship article for more information about Facebook’s interest in deleted updates.

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About the Author
Jessica Cherok is an advocate for online privacy, campaigning for ethical data practices and the protection of personal privacy.
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