The privacy snafu had to do with Facebook's "Midnight Delivery" messaging service (pictured above). And it's sort of a brilliant service: Instead of ruining your own celebration by texting and calling everyone around the stroke of midnight, Facebook basically lets you shut down at around 11:50 p.m., with a 'Midnight Message' ensuring midnight delivery to any of your friends around the world when the ball/shoe/whatever drops. As The Next Web points out, earlier this morning "a Google search and may have provided a direct link to apparently 1.35 million accounts," and Facebook noticed that people who had the URLs could see what were supposed to be private messages, and promptly pulled the service. Facebook has apparently fixed the problem and service is now restored — even thought it's already 2013 in places like Australia.
And you thought Randi Zuckerberg had it bad: For a few minutes there, what were supposed to be private Facebook messages on the occasion of New Year's Eve were not private at all, and everyone got to see what social-media addicts in Australia and New Zealand were saying to each other — new privacy settings and all. But no to worry, because Facebook now says it has everything under control.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.