Though Facebook claims that there is no glitch, users insist that a bug on the site has exposed their private messages, putting them on their Timeline for all to see. Reuters' Anthony De Rosa complained of the issue on Twitter earlier today, saying he had to hide private messages that somehow got on his wall. Le Monde, Le Matin and Metro France all wrote up the issue as well. After many users wrote in to TechCrunch about the horrifying possibility, a Facebook spokesperson told TechCrunch's Colleen Taylor that people are seeing old wall postings, not private messages. Here's the full response:
Every report we’ve seen, we’ve gone back and checked. We haven’t seen one report that’s been confirmed [of a private message being exposed]. A lot of the confusion is because before 2008 there were no likes and no comments on wall posts. People went back and forth with wall posts instead of having a conversation [in the comments of single wall post.]
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.
We're not sure this clears the social network. Some Atlantic Wire staffers complained of the issue insisting that these posts were exposed messages. But when they went back to check the message archive, they could not find the original message. Yet, because of embarrassing content and posts like the one to the right that uses the word "message" (indicating a private message, rather than a wall post), our staffers aren't fully convinced. Perhaps the glitch removes the note from the Messages archive and puts it on the wall. We've reached out to Facebook for further comment on our theory.
Update 4:45 p.m.: Facebook has debunked our theory saying the message and wall systems are separate. A spokesperson urged our colleagues to double check these so called messages. "Click on the activity and see if they can Like/Comment (which would be indicative of a Wall Post)," wrote Facebook's Frederic Wolens. Our Atlantic Wire staffers did that and both told me that the posts had like and comment abilities.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.