Posted in: Social Media

Facebook Users Report Seeing Private Messages Showing Up In Timeline

Facebook Privacy Update

Facebook has managed to pull off its biggest privacy gaffe to date. The social network on Monday accidentally began displaying users private messages directly on their Facebook timeline, allowing other users to see their private conversations.

According to Facebook the private messages were those written in 2009 and they showed up as “Posted by friends.”

Facebook users could see their friends messages via their Timelines and view their own direct messages on their own timelines.

The bug appears to be selective at this time as not all users are seeing the messages.

The issue does not appear to be limited to the United States as French newspapers including Le Monde, Le Matin and Metro France have reported the same problem overseas.

Following the incident a Facebook spokesperson wrote:

“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.”

That response didn’t sit well with TechCrunch writer Colleen Taylor who posted the following direct message wall posting proof:

Timeline Private Messages

Facebook being “satisfied” with any type of privacy breach doesn’t really come as a surprise, the company is not exactly known for caring much about user privacy.

Update from Facebook:

“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 2009 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.]”

So it’s not private messages, now it just looks like one more reason to hate Facebook’s Timeline feature.

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8 Responses to “Facebook Users Report Seeing Private Messages Showing Up In Timeline”

  1. Sasha Skye McKinnan

    Colleen does realize that this picture shows absolutely nothing right? It's all smoke and mirrors. What I need to see is someone post something that either clearly wouldn't be a wall post (like sexual comments or deeply person convo's about illness) or you know, simply a screen shot showing the mail was a private message instead of a wall post. Why can't anyone provide that? Especially after 4 days?

  2. Sasha Skye McKinnan

    and if this were a PM instead of wall posts, where is her side of the conversation? Makes zero sense that we can't see it, unless this is exactly what Facebook is saying, which is people went back on forth on walla having convo's before comments was introduced. All she's done is provide us a screenshot which completely supports Facebooks statement lol.

  3. Jaymi Collicutt

    even says at top "posted on timeline" which is the same as writing on the good old wall back in the day lol. sounds like everyone freaking needs to calm down and step back into the real world..which fb most certainly is not

  4. David Forster

    Need proof — Screenshot of the message in your inbox AND screenshot of the exact same message on your wall so far no one can prove it.

  5. Mat Smith

    I can't see how anyone could consider it "news" that stupid people use Facebook to write private messages on each others' walls, which can – and always could – be seen by others. There's absolutely no evidence to suggest that genuine private messages (that is, inbox messages sent directly between users) showed up on timelines, other than mere rumours emanating from aforementioned stupid people. Yet this news article states certain things as "fact" without providing evidence. = shoddy tech journalism.

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