Facebook Denies Leak of Private Messages on Timeline

Aaron Elliott Founder, Socialbarrel.com, Social Barrel

Posted on September 27th 2012

Facebook Denies Leak of Private Messages on Timeline

Facebook has denied allegations that some users’ old private messages are leaking on their accounts’ public walls, adding that user privacy remains intact.

The world’s largest social network is charged of exposing users’ private messages to their Timeline, but it claims those messages have always been public and are merely very old.

“A small number of users raised concerns after what they believed to be private messages appeared on their Timeline,” Facebook said in its statement.

“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.”

Facebook Denies Leak of Private Messages on Timeline

Users were irritated with their messages suddenly appearing in public, and several speculated that the leak bears on nearly six-year-old content.

It appears these users simply forgot how to use the social network and shocked by their own candidness in the posts.

After launching Timeline, Facebook disputed criticisms that the new feature will dampen users’ personal privacy.

“Timeline gives you an easy way to rediscover the things you shared and collect your most important moments,” said its spokesperson.

“It also lets you share new experiences, like the music you listen to or the miles you run. Timeline does not change any of your privacy settings.”


Image: West McGowan, via Flickr (CC)



Aaron Elliott

Founder, Socialbarrel.com, Social Barrel

I'm 30 and live in Adelaide, Australia. I have a strong interest and passion for Social Media, Blogging and Online Marketing. To execute this passion I have created Socialbarrel.com which aims to connect social media users and marketers, with the latest and most up-to-date news on the social media scene. Don't forget to check out Socialbarrel.com for more Social Media News.

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Kent Ong
Posted on September 27th 2012 at 5:28PM

Wow, Facebook keeps having problem.

1) Share price keeps dropping

2) Limit Runs Issue

3) Now old messages appear on Timeline

What happen to Facebook?

Posted on September 29th 2012 at 5:30AM

The share price was over priced to begin with, so it's no wonder why it dropped and continues to drop. The ever popular Andriod device is helping Google+ catch up with Facebook and the growth rate of Google plus has already exceeded Facebook. There is no doubt with almost 1 billion users there will continue to be privacy, server and software issues with Facebook - which is expected and probably impossible to avoid.  

L.E. Hill
Posted on October 5th 2012 at 7:22PM

I caught the error when it occurred. The denial further eroded my confidence simply because my personal page is less than six months old and it clearly showed all messages as public and I took screen shots to prove it. The brushing off and manipulation of facts is apparently more PR spin about the continuous privacy debacle at FB.

Google+ has its own set of privacy issues, but the bottom line is social media exists to give  public exposure. Google is notorious as one of the largest offenders when it comes to privacy. No platform is fail safe and it's up to users to control what they don't want made public,  Bottom line, don't post anything if you want a guarantee of privacy.

Like any business, when the basic strategy, tools, settings and design are continually changing,  "customers" become frustrated with trying to keep up with how to control their information. On "pages" they have even bigger issues. FB has little to no customer support nor what appears to be any interest in satisfying consumer demand and it is finally coming back to bite them. Right where it hurts.