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A Facebook Photo Never Dies

written by: •edited by: Carly Stockwell•updated: 3/15/2013

Facebook users upload and share billions of photos every day. Where do all those photos end up? And who can access them?

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    Where do Facebook Photos Go?

    shutterstock 51955312 What happens to the images you post on Facebook? Have you ever thought about that?

    You know…those old high school photos, ex-love interest pics, party shots on the beach, your new bike, your experiences with pregnancy, your divorce, and much much more.

    Well, all such things are stored at Facebook in server farms. But there are up to 350 million new images posted every DAY. And so far, there are 240 billion (yes, that's billion with a "b") images already posted.

    First, that should sound like a shockingly high number. Second, how many of those pics belong to you?

    Photo Storage

    Facebook obviously needs an efficient storage system because it seems, sadly, the goal is to keep your pics, images, posts, and comments -- forever. According to the Oregonian, Facebook will convert part of the facility in Oregon to a “cold storage” system to save images on low-power servers to conserve energy. In the first nine months of operations there, Facebook’s servers consumed as much energy as 6,000 homes.

    Beside the fact there's an inordinate amount of energy used to keep your junior high pics online, those images are also not going away anytime soon. You will be immortalized with them by Facebook.

    Be Careful What you Post

    Those images can be used against you. Kaplan recently published information about the number of college admissions boards using Facebook and other social network information to review college candidates.

    Employers can search the Web to vet out potential employees and their after-work habits.

    Your ex-friends can look up you up to see your new life, spouse, kids, and pets.

    A private investigator can seek out personal information on your child’s FB page.

    Sexual predators can see what your child looks like to be able to identify them more readily.

    Insurance companies can see that you’re an adrenalin junkie -- rock climber, snowboarder, hang glider, base jumper, motorcyclist, snowmobile rider -- and increase your life insurance rates.

    The moral of the story: you and your family should be careful about the pics and images and information you post on Facebook. It can come back to haunt you.

    It’s all stored on a server hard drive somewhere in Oregon right now.

    By Russ Warner, CEO, ContentWatch-makers of Net Nanny