There’s a lot of talk going around that Facebook is deleting your photos, but that’s not the whole story.

Facebook seems to be the social media platform that everyone loves to hate, yet everyone seems to use it. At least that’s the way it feels every time a new click bait headline floats around, insisting that Facebook is going to start charging a user fee, start selling the pictures of your four-year-old son, and every other iteration of a “news” article about the big bad platform.

facebook moments

But some recent news from the company has morphed from a nugget of truth to an all-out witch hunt against Zuckerberg and Friends: that Facebook will delete your photos if you don’t switch them over to the Moments app.

Backing up, Facebook launched the Messenger app some time ago, and there was intense pressure  to make users switch to sending messages in the mobile app version through the new app instead of going to the mobile site and clicking the little message balloon. Messenger was designed to help both users and the team whose job it is to magically make your every thought reach its intended recipient–for free.

Now, Facebook has launched a new app, Moments, and it’s got social media users up in arms once again. The headlines claim that Facebook is going to delete your photos if you don’t “switch” them over to the new Moments app, but again, that’s not actually the case.

Some time ago, Facebook allowed an opt-in feature for instant upload from your smartphone’s camera roll to a private album on your Facebook account. This basically amounted to free, unlimited cloud storage for your pictures, letting you snap a photo, shift it over to a private album, then delete it off your phone in order to free up space. The idea was that you could turn those photos into a Facebook or Instagram post later, as well as download them, send them over to a photo sharing site, order prints, or more.

Unfortunately, as we all know from our own camera phone behaviour, a lot of those photos never went anywhere else. Facebook has been footing the bill for storing its billion-plus users’ photos, and getting nothing from it. They’ve ever so politely asked that their users either sync these photos to the servers that power Moments, or delete them if they have no plans to do anything with them. Anyone who fails to courteously do so will find that the unsynced photos will disappear by July 7th.

It’s interesting how many people have taken the stance that this is yet another attempt by Facebook to “force” users to download their newest app. It begs the question: has social media become such a part of our lives that we see a company’s attempt to streamline its own free service as an infringement on our rights?