The Defunct Facebook Page

As some visitors are aware, I used to have an Ate Up With Motor Page on Facebook, which was deactivated when I closed my Facebook account for good in December 2018. I had thought that I retained an offline copy of all the data from the Page, but I recently discovered that I was mistaken, and in fact I actually retain very little of the content, comments, and messages from that Page. Since my account has long since been removed, it’s much too late for me to try to download that data again.

How that happened is a long, dumb story, but the bottom line is that if you sent me messages through the Ate Up With Motor Page on Facebook, left comments or posted on the Page, and/or shared media there, it is likely that I no longer retain or have access to that data. I retain a smattering of information in the form of old notification emails (and some bits and pieces of information that I saved or recorded separately for some specific reason, such as if someone provided research suggestions or article corrections), and I DO have an archive of comments and messages I sent or received directly (that is, as Aaron Severson rather than as Ate Up With Motor), but that’s about it. While people did sometimes share car photos and/or videos on the Ate Up With Motor Page, I made a point of NOT downloading offline copies of media from the Page unless the photographers had expressly authorized me to use their images on the Ate Up With Motor website (and I didn’t always get around to it even then, for which I’m now kicking myself).

It seems likely that Facebook still retains at least some of that information — for instance, if you are a Facebook user and left comments on the Ate Up With Motor Page, the comments are probably still listed in your activity history. Questions about the extent to which Facebook may retain such data, or what options you may have for accessing or deleting it, should be directed to Facebook, as that is beyond my control. (I almost certainly lack the legal standing to compel Facebook to delete someone else’s data.)

ETA: I have also discovered that the archive I’d made of the long-defunct Ate Up With Motor LiveJournal blog was no longer accessible. Again, I may retain certain related information in other forms (e.g., notification emails), but most of the data has now been deleted, and the blog itself was purged in 2014. I don’t know if LiveJournal retains information about comments or messages still-active users sent to blogs that have since been purged; I haven’t used that service in many years because I refuse to accept their current TOS, the only binding version of which is in Russian.

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  1. Very glad you have severed ties with Fack Fucebook. The fact that they “ate” your data, which they actually own although no one reads the sneakily fine print, is example #2,438,216,867 of their evil.

    Love the site, Aaron. Wish I knew half as much as you know about automobiles.

    1. The data from the AUWM Page being lost was really my fault — I didn’t go through the downloaded JSON files in any great detail (there were a lot of them, since they included every action I’d ever taken on Facebook), or I would have probably realized there was a separate procedure for getting the actual page data. (I will say that wasn’t at all obvious, but it was probably included in the Page’s administrative settings rather than my personal ones.) By the time I realized it wasn’t there, it was much too late to do anything about it.

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