In a recent case, an Austrian law student requested a copy of all of his data on Facebook (friends, posts, chat logs, etc) and found that Facebook had retained much of the data that he had deleted in the past. That means that it’s very likely that what you put on Facebook never gets deleted.
Now, you might have heard that what goes up on the Internet never comes down. In almost every case I’ve found this to be true. Between Google cache, cookies, virus’ and spyware, and a million other types of programs designed to retain data, it’s highly unlikely that every copy of your emails, Facebook posts, or browser history can ever be permanently deleted.
If you want to view all of your data that’s been shared on Facebook, check out this how-to published by Facebook. It’s really rather easy to do so.
If you live outside of the US or Canada (still tyring to determine if this is applicable in the US), you can also request a physical copy of your data via this form. However, according to Europe-v-facebook.org (the end result of the Austrian law student’s inquiry), Facebook is now denying such requests.