WASHINGTON – We’ve all written something on Facebook, taken that last moment to decide whether we really want to send that sentiment out into the world, and deleted it.
It turns out, Facebook knows what you typed, even if you didn’t actually post it.
As reported in Slate, two company researchers have been studying non-posts that they call “self-censorship.”
They say that the company only studies “metadata” – the time and location of the deleted posts – not the content. But Facebook has the technology to see what you typed, and Slate says the researchers’ study concludes by saying “we have arrived at a better understanding of how and where self-censorship manifests on social media; next, we will need to better understand what and why.” That’s a pretty strong implication that they’ll be looking at the content of non-posts.
The argument from the researchers is that needs to know what you’re interested in, even if you decided not to share it. They also argue that Facebook needs to decrease self-censorship; why that is so is unclear.
Food for thought. In the meantime, think even harder before you type.