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What? Facebook Keeps Videos That You Never Posted

Back in the early days of Facebook, video chat wasn't really a thing. So if you wanted someone to see your face, you'd turn on your webcam, record a video and put it on a friend's Facebook wall (note to young'uns: that's what the timeline was called back in 2009). But it turns out that if you didn't like a take and decided to re-record it, Facebook may have kept the original anyway.

Credit: Ink Drop/Shutterstock

(Image credit: Ink Drop/Shutterstock)

A report from New York Mag's Select All details the personal experiences of several individuals who downloaded their data archives from Facebook and found different takes of videos that they hadn't published.

When I downloaded my own archive the other day, I noticed two takes of the same video and found it strange, but brushed it off because it was so long ago I hadn't remembered posting them. But it seems Facebook keeps copies that one would usually assume the social media giant had discarded.

MORE: How to Download Your Facebook Posts

"We've heard that when accessing their information from our Download Your Information tool, some people are seeing their old videos that do not appear on their profile or Activity Log," Facebook told New York Mag. "We are investigating."

You can download your Facebook data archive from this page, but videos are stored in a .FLV format. Many video players can't play those, though the popular VLC free program can handle it.

This is minor compared to Facebook's other recent privacy scandals, including that data firm Cambridge Analytica misused data obtained from an app on the platform, and that the company logs phone calls and text messages for certain users of its Android apps. Just throw this new one on top of the pile.

Andrew E. Freedman

Andrew E. Freedman is an editor at Tom's Hardware focusing on laptops, desktops and gaming as well as keeping up with the latest news. He holds a M.S. in Journalism (Digital Media) from Columbia University. A lover of all things gaming and tech, his previous work has shown up in Kotaku, PCMag, Complex, Tom's Guide and Laptop Mag among others.