Does Facebook Notify Screenshots?
Like the majority of popular social media platforms, Facebook allows users to post short-lived updates called Stories. These are mash-ups of text, backgrounds, and photos or videos. Facebook’s intent is to allow you to create posts about moments in time that you don’t necessarily want to linger on your profile permanently.
Considering that they’re temporary, you or others who see your story may want to capture part of or all of it before it disappears forever. This is likely to be accomplished by taking screenshots. What happens if a user takes a screenshot of your Facebook story? Will you be notified by Facebook?
Traditionally, a screenshot was taken by a professional photographer and was then used by the software marketing companies for the purpose of advertising the product. At first, it didn’t seem like anyone else would want or need to capture what is on the screen of a computer.
A UC Berkeley assistant professor of film and media, Jacob Gaboury, writes in an essay about this history of screenshots that the first mainstream use of screenshots dates back to the 1980s. Magazines promoted the practice of taking pictures of gamers’ high scores in order to prove their achievement.
Nintendo Power, the official magazine of Nintendo, often emphasized how to take the best results by printing instructions like “Put out the lights before you take your picture, and hold the camera steady.”)
The majority of other people who wanted to preserve something from a computer screen were primarily interested in “screen dumps,” which is to say they would simply copy whatever happened to be shown on a screen into a text file for convenience, rather than freeze it in a static, documented image.
In 1999, with enough changes in technology, the New York Times readers were asked whether they could “take a picture of the screen” so they could put an image of their website on a concert flyer.
Facebook does not notify users about story screenshots
Despite the fact that the story expires and disappears after 24 hours, anyone can create a screenshot using their phone or computer, essentially creating a copy they can keep forever. Therefore, be aware that you will not be notified when someone captures a screenshot of your story.
It comes as no surprise that this is the case. In addition to the factor that this is technically difficult for Facebook to know if a screenshot is taken in a lot of situations – for example, when the platform is opened in a browser – the fact is similar to how other platforms handle stories.
As an example, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn do not notify users if one of their stories has been screenshotted. Even though Instagram does notify users when a screenshot is captured under certain conditions, Snapchat is the only company that does notify an account owner if the story is captured through a screenshot.
It is now becoming apparent that screenshots are modifying themselves into strange shapes. A screenshot is allegedly shown to be a screenshot of a message written before this year by the actor Armie Hammer, in which the actor described his violent sexual fantasies to women, was circulated on Instagram.
A Brooklyn-based artist tried to sell screenshots she’d taken of two exchanges she’d had with him as NFTs back in April. (“Aren’t these private messages? Arlene asked rhetorically, in an artist’s statement. “No. These are paintings and my own exchanges.”) No one ever placed a bid — which maybe isn’t surprising at all. Every one of us understands at some level that a screenshot can’t be captured and controlled forever, without the advantage of owning it forever.
The short answer is no, Facebook does not notify you when someone takes a screenshot of your post. However, if the person who took the screenshot shares it or uploads it to another social media site (like Twitter), then they can be easily identified as the source of that content and may face consequences for violating copyright infringement laws. To avoid this problem altogether, make sure you’ve checked out our blog on how to prevent screenshots before publishing!