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December 23, 2013

Facebook Has Technology to Monitor Unposted Thoughts: Article

Image courtesy of (arztsamui)/

Facebook could, if it chose, monitor and collect what you type on Facebook before it is posted, even if you choose to delete it rather than share it on your news feed, according to an article by online magazine Slate.

“Unfortunately, the code in your browser that powers Facebook still knows what you typed—even if you decide not to publish it,” reads the article. “It turns out that the things you explicitly choose not to share aren’t entirely private.”

Such decisions by Facebook users are considered “self-censorship” by the social network, the article says, citing a paper written by Sauvik Das, a Ph.D. student at Carnegie Mellon and summer software engineer intern at Facebook, and Facebook data scientist Adam Kramer.

The article by Das and Kramer says only information about if members are self-censoring is collected by Facebook, not what was actually typed. However, the technology is there to do so.

“When I reached out to Facebook, a representative told me that the company believes this self-censorship is a type of interaction covered by the policy,” reads the article. “The Facebook rep I spoke with agreed that the company isn’t collecting the text of self-censored posts. But it’s certainly technologically possible, and it’s clear that Facebook is interested in the content of your self-censored posts. ”