Facebook Quietly Pulls Your Ability To Download Your Own Posts

Perhaps some users were unaware of this capability, but you can actually download your Facebook data, including all of your wall posts, photos, videos, and so on. According to blogger Damian Yerrick of Angry Math, Facebook has now removed the ability to download your own posts.

There are three areas where Facebook stores the data that’s posted, shared, or uploaded to your profile: Downloaded Info (including posts, messages, and photos), Expanded Archive (items such as login info and cookies), and Activity Log (which includes a history of all of your activity.

You can download and save a copy of your Downloaded Info and Expanded Archive data, while only Facebook has access to the whole of your Activity Log; in other words, you can manage it through Facebook, but you can’t download a copy of your activity logs.

Facebook download wall

Facebook download wall\
Top: wall.html, which contains posts, is present; Below, wall.html is gone

Yerrick, after noticing that some of the data in his Downloaded Info was missing--namely, his wall posts--dug around and discovered that on the Facebook page that lists a variety of types of Facebook data and where it is found, “Your Posts” is no longer under Downloaded Info--it’s been moved to Activity Log, which means that he (and ostensibly, everyone else) can’t download and save his posts. (He says that he checked, and the posts aren’t stashed in the Expanded Archive, either.)

Facebook download\
The new "index.html" in Facebook's Downloaded Info is missing the Wall link

Perhaps for most users, this is a total non-issue, but for others (like Yerrick), it’s annoying and frustrating. Even casual users should take note, because if, for example, you want to go back in a few years and dig up all funny and cute Facebook posts about what your kids said or did when they were small, they could all be gone.

Lest we accuse Facebook of something sinister, it’s likely that the social network is just tinkering with the way it handles its data, which is always happening. In any case, if you liked the idea of being able to hang onto your Facebook data, it looks like you may be out of luck.