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This question has been asked before, but it doesn't bring up several important points. As things currently stand, deleting a Facebook message only removes it from your inbox but the recipient still has access to it (unless they delete it as well). If the recipient doesn't delete your message, it will stay on Facebook's servers indefinitely. The best argument for not forcing Facebook to delete messages from both sides is that the recipient may still want to have access to them later. There are also potential criminal issues to consider. If the message is in anyway connected to illegal activity, authorities may want to have access to it in the future. However, these are some points to consider:

1) All computer systems are susceptible to hacking. There have already been several data breaches related to Facebook messages. If Facebook can't keep our data secure, they're obligated to remove it at some point.

2) Never in the course of human history has everything you said been saved and recorded forever. At some point, it's reasonable to want your data to no longer be accessible.

As far as illegal activity is concerned, there are other ways to mitigate crime. And with regards to the rights of the recipient, they can save and store the messages for posterity's sake. However, that doesn't mean messages have to be on Facebook's servers forever.

So here's my question: Is anyone anywhere trying to litigate this? At the very least, can Facebook be required to create an easy mechanism for deletion? For example, allowing for automatic deletion requests to be sent to both parties? By the way, Mark Zuckerburg already has this feature. https://www.theverge.com/2018/4/6/17203114/facebook-mark-zuckerberg-messages-deleted-messenger-inbox

  • The current law in the USA is you voluntarily use Facebook’s services, so you consent to their policies on everything. Nobody is forcing you to make a Facebook account and send messages. – Viktor Nov 16 at 8:55
  • That's like saying no one is forcing you to use any electronic communications. These technologies are prolific and a necessary part of modern life. Facebook messenger has become the default mode of communication for billions of people. I don't have my friends phone numbers anymore, or if I do, I don't use them. If I meet someone in public, I don't get their phone number. I add them on Facebook. As consumers, we deserve basic protections and have a right to not have our messages stored indefinitely. I don't understand why so many people take the position of siding with those in power. – user27343 Nov 16 at 14:32
  • You're either playing devil's advocate, or you really believe what you're saying. I hope the former is true. – user27343 Nov 16 at 14:32
  • in this case at the moment I don’t think you should be able to delete messages that you sent to me. If we look back at the previous version of this system, text messages, there was no deleting of a message you sent out previously. Same thing with email. You should not be able to delete an email you sent me because it is now either on my account or my computer (if I sync all my emails to my computer). However, we have now strayed into politics/opinion based responses. – Viktor Nov 16 at 16:09

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