Calm down, guys. Before you sign that petition, you should know that Facebook isn’t collecting your unposted thoughts. So, please don’t be like those 27,000+ signers of an online petition on Care2 that want Facebook to “stop stalking our unposted thoughts!”
According to the petition, Facebook is recording what you write when you type something out, then erase it without posting. But the social network doesn’t do this. A Facebook spokesperson explained to Mashable that the site “does not collect or track any content that people have chosen not to post.”
It seems the petition’s creators are reacting to a recent report that was the focus of a Slate article in mid-December. The report, written by a Facebook data scientist and former company intern, explored “self-censorship” among Facebook users.
The study examined 3.9 million Facebook users over a 17-day period. It found that 71 percent of users “self-censored” their posts at least once. It was meant to figure out when people typed and deleted their thoughts, rather than what they were typing out. The researchers explained that “content was tracked only if at least five characters were entered into the composer or content box.” If it wasn’t shared within 10 minutes, it was marked “censored.”
The researchers only recorded “the presence or absence of text entered, not the keystrokes or content.”