How to delete photos on Facebook

The year is 2011 and fishbowl cocktails are all the rage. You think it socially acceptable, nay, socially judicious, to upload a Facebook album, well into the double figures, chronicling this brave new world. That is, until there comes a time for job applications. Or starting university. Or befriending one’s in-laws on Facebook. The list goes on…

How to delete photos on Facebook

Sometimes, there comes a time when the pictures we uploaded to Facebook in the days of yore must be taken down, whether that’s out of necessity, pride, or simply good judgement. Thankfully, this is a relatively instantaneous task to accomplish on Facebook (unlike, for example, deleting your profile entirely, a process which insists on a 14-day waiting period “just in case” you change your mind).

As ever, there’s a caveat: you can only delete photos that you’ve uploaded. If you’re unhappy with a photo that someone else has uploaded, there’s a plethora of options you can take, from reporting it, to hiding it from your timeline (if it’s a particularly unflattering snap of you), or simply resorting to good old-fashioned diplomacy (pleading with the uploader that the offending image be deleted).

In the meantime, if you’re looking to delete photos that you’ve uploaded to Facebook, look no further than our quick and easy guide.

How to delete photos on Facebook

  1. Click on the offending photo. The image in question could be your profile picture, cover photo, or one from an album, all of which can be accessed directly from your profile itself.
  2. Select Options from the menu bar below the photo.
  3. Select Delete This Photo. When Facebook asks you if you’re sure (lest you start actually withdrawing from the site), click Delete.

And that’s it. Easy as pie, really.

It’s always worth noting that, once you’ve deleted a photo, there’s no guaranteeing that digital copies don’t exist out there, whether in the form of screenshots or saved images or re-uploads. As Rooney Mara presciently explains in The Social Network, “The internet’s not written in pencil, Mark [Zuckerberg], it’s written in ink.” Hitting that delete button isn’t akin to erasing an awry pencil mark. Pictures can leave stains that last a lifetime, to (over)extend the metaphor.

Perhaps even more alarmingly, Facebook itself is pretty opaque about this practice. “When you choose to delete something you share on Facebook, we remove it from the site,” explains its website, followed by a wholly inconclusive “Some of this information is permanently deleted from our servers”. Emphasis on the “some”.

So the moral of the story is, as ever: be careful about what you share online in the first place. In the meantime, take solace in the knowledge that that Malia ‘11 album can be culled with relative ease.

Header image: Christopher, used under Creative Commons 

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