© dpa
Three years after the issue first came to light, it appears photos on Facebook that users have deleted aren't actually off the server, a website has learned.

Writers at the technology blog Ars Technica found that even when they deleted photos, the image file stayed on Facebook's server and was still available, if another user had a direct URL to the image. In effect, all that deleting a photo had accomplished was removing it from Facebook's main interface.

Since Ars Technica first learned of this flaw in Facebook's system back in 2009, the social networking giant has responded to say that it is working with its content delivery network (CDN) partner to resolve the issue and reduce the amount of time it takes for a photo to be deleted.

The problem lies in the system that Facebook had been using to store its content. It reportedly never worked as it was supposed to, including issues with it not purging images that had been deleted by users. According to Facebook spokesperson Frederic Wolens, they are in the process of changing to a new system, which will completely remove the photos deleted by users within 45 days.

"The process is nearly complete and there is only a very small percentage of user photos still on the old system awaiting migration," Wolens said in the Ars Technica story.

What this all leads to is the same issue that social media experts have been warning people of for years: use common sense when you're posting photos online. Don't put up things you wouldn't want a future employer to see, and respect the wishes of others if they ask you not to put up photos of them, their children, or anything else that isn't yours to share freely.