A problem that has seen many Facebook photos disappearing may have been traced to a server farm in Sweden.
Users have recently reported that albums uploaded in 2008 and 2009 were displaying as a grid of blank frames, and that the pictures were nowhere to be found. A number of people posted to the photos section of the Facebook Help Centre to report the problem and seek some help or answers, but initially there was no word from Facebook on the matter.
Scores of users chipped in to either state that they were experiencing the same problem or to offer some advice. In certain cases users were able to get around the problem by changing their web browser or deleting their cache/temporary internet files. However, the majority of users still weren’t able to view their albums, and it looked like they were having to face the possibility that they had lost Facebook photos forever.
One user managed to trace the problem to a broken server or servers in Sweden:
“I have checked about a dozen “blank” photos in various albums of about 4 or 5 people posting on this thread. Though I do not know how reliable the information is, ALL of the images in question appear to be associated with an IP address leading to an Akamai fbcdn (Facebook Content Distribution Network) server, located somewhere in Sweden.
Please note that approximately 6 months ago, it was announced that Facebook was planning to construct a server farm in northern Sweden near the Arctic Circle. I do not know if Akamai or Facebook are currently having server and/or network problems, or, if the encountered issue is related to the reported Facebook construction in Sweden.”
Facebook have finally issued a response, posting the following in theirKnown Issuessection:
“Photos: Some people are seeing photos as blank squares in their albums and around the site. These photos are not lost and will begin to appear as we continue to work on this. Sorry for any inconvenience.”
So while it seems that this is a case of temporary misplacement, it must have been very unsettling for those affected users to think that they may have lost a sizeable chunk of their photo memories. If you are concerned about losing your Facebook photos – and wall posts, updates, friends and comments – then you can backup Facebook and other social media accounts with SocialSafe.