How can I recover a deleted facebook thread?
April 24, 2014 4:27 PM   Subscribe

A facebook thread (In a group) was deleted by the moderator. I understand that the internet records everything and it is archived somewhere. How can I look at it?
posted by TigerCrane to Computers & Internet (8 answers total)
I'm admin of several FB groups. I don't know of a way to restore a deleted conversation. You could see if someone you know in the group was getting email notifications of the conversation and have them send those emails to you.
posted by Mo Nickels at 4:40 PM on April 24, 2014 [1 favorite]

Mo Nickels has a good idea I think. "The internet records everything" is not quite true- things get cached, but not immediately, and not pages which are private to logged-in users, as a FB group likely is.

The information is probably on FB's servers somewhere still, but without a court order or you being the NSA you won't be able to get it.
posted by drjimmy11 at 5:11 PM on April 24, 2014 [2 favorites]

The notion that "the internet records everything" is completely untrue; it is a platitude meant to make people think twice about posting illegal or embarrassing content to the internet, because once it's there, it has the potential to be archived or copied and shared far and wide, and once that happens there's little you can do to stop it. Unless the site itself supports undeleting deleted threads, or someone else made a copy for you, it's gone forever.
posted by Aleyn at 5:49 PM on April 24, 2014 [1 favorite]

Or at least, gone in the sense of being easily retrievable. Facebook may (or may not) archive deleted posts for various reasons, but they don't expose that functionality to its users.
posted by Aleyn at 5:53 PM on April 24, 2014 [1 favorite]

I agree that without a court order you're going to be unlikely to recover anything from Facebook's servers.
posted by dfriedman at 6:11 PM on April 24, 2014

Unless the site itself supports undeleting deleted threads, or someone else made a copy for you, it's gone forever.

For all practical purposes, TigerCrane will not be able to view their deleted post, however, claims that if you delete it Facebook will quickly reuse that disc space for something else may not be true.

From Facebook's own Help site:
When you choose to delete something you shared on Facebook, we remove it from the site. Some of this information is permanently deleted from our servers; however, some things can only be deleted when you permanently delete your account.
They don't specify exactly what content isn't deleted.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 12:17 AM on April 25, 2014

Mod note: A couple of comments removed. Please feel free to share any info or insight that might be useful, but let's not fill the thread with "I don't know, but I doubt it" sorts of answers. Thank you.
posted by taz (staff) at 5:17 AM on April 25, 2014

If you happen to have the URL of the conversation (which will be of the form OR, more or less), then you may be able to find the Google cache of that material using it as a search term. I emphasize that this is just barely possible even when you're dealing with a public group. (My attempts to find the cache of conversations I could open and look at was still hit and miss.) Other than that, you're probably out of luck.

Small FYI, the permalink is a feature very much invented here.
posted by dhartung at 1:17 PM on April 25, 2014

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