Facebook message bug isn’t private messages

No private messages are being spilled, the social network assures folk

September 25, 2012

Facebook has swiftly responded to the accusation that it has been involved in a privacy faux-pas whereby old private messages (PMs) have been accidentally posted up for all to see on some users’ timelines.

Some Facebookers have claimed that PMs which they sent between three and five years ago have suddenly cropped up on their public timeline.

But Facebook flatly denied that it was possible for private messaging to ever become public, and that wall posts were effectively housed in a separate system to PMs.

A spokesperson for the social network told the Telegraph: “A small number of users raised concerns after what they mistakenly believed to be private messages appeared on their Timeline. Our engineers investigated these reports and found that the messages were older wall posts that had always been visible on the users’ profile pages. Facebook is satisfied that there has been no breach of user privacy.”

However, there are certainly reports of users who are insisting that these are definitely private messages which have been spilled for all and sundry to see.

Several users told the Telegraph, and the BBC, in no uncertain terms that these were PMs.

One (anonymous) user said: “This Facebook Message thing is a huge mess. Confirmed for me. Found some private messages fully exposed on my timeline.”

Whether or not this is people’s memory failing them, and they, not Facebook, are mistaken is of course a possibility.

Although those “affected” are convinced that these are definitely PMs. We’ve had a quick scan around our Facebook account, and those of ours friends, and can’t see any hint of any leakage, though. But then, this is only a “small number” of users making complaints.


Comments in chronological order (1 comment)

  1. Ethan Hay says:

    All of my private messages were up on my wall, not just wall posts. I’m quite sure.

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