Facebook just made your old private messages public – or did it?

The latest scandal to hit Facebook is from users reporting that old private messages (circa 2007-2008) have now been made public on their timeline.

Facebook is denying this, saying they aren’t private messages at all, just old wall posts.

Despite Facebook engineers knowing what they are talking about with their own software (or do they?), users ‘saw it with their own eyes’ so it must be a privacy breach.

Let’s back the truck up for a minute and find some evidence. Remember that? Facts that may help explain what has actually happened and an prove or disprove a theory?

So I checked out my own timeline and this is what I saw – shock, horror, a list of ‘messages’!

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But hang on a minute – if I scroll down further, these actually appear as wall posts as well:

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Now, if I actually go into my Private Messages for the same time period? Well, none of those on my ‘wall’ are in my Private Messages. And private messages that are there from around the same time period have not mysteriously appeared on my wall:

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But hey, if you can actually show me some evidence where ALL of your private messages from that period are on your wall, then go for it.

Remember, we didn’t have a timeline in 2007.

I’m fairly certain that the messages I’ve shown you on my timeline were never sent as actual private messages and there has been no privacy breach. But I don’t work for Facebook and I can’t prove what’s happened here. I also don’t have access to your account so maybe I just have to take your word for it if you are really, really sure that some of your messages have magically transferred themseves out of your Inbox and onto your wall.  And if Facebook spends some more time investigating and proves, with evidence, that there really is a problem, I’ll accept it. But for now, based on the evidence I can see in my own profile, I’m really not worried.

-SCuffy

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