back to article Facebook denies Timeline publishes punters' private posts

Facebook has denied claims it has exposed its users' private messages on their profile pages. Reports stemming from France, where Facebook has just rolled out its Timeline website layout, suggested that punters could view old private missives as public posts between 2007 and 2009. The new Timeline format is gradually being …


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  1. The Alpha Klutz

    Facebook denies Timeline publishes punters' private posts

    Facebook lies. I can see private posts from people who dont even like me. sometimes you click on a timeline and nothing comes up, sometimes you get their private shit spunked right over your terminal window and they cant do ANYTHING ABOUT IT

    1. The Alpha Klutz

      Re: Facebook denies Timeline publishes punters' private posts

      of course, Zuck will always claim they can set their security settings, but if he hadn't miss-managed their security settings in the first place they wouldnt have been fucked over to begin with.

      1. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart

        Re: Facebook denies Timeline publishes punters' private posts

        That's because they are not punters' private posts, they're Facebook's posts.

        Always remember, (1) on farcebook, you are the product, (2) if you don't want it to be seen, don't post it..... anywhere.

  2. Sir Runcible Spoon

    What goes on the Internet....

    All together now..


    </smug non FB user mode>

  3. EddieD

    1st rule of social networking

    Anything you post may become part of the public domain.

    That is all.

  4. Ben Rose


    Heard this rumour yesterday afternoon and checked, checked and checked again. It's nothing more than a rumour, being propogated by Social Media experts and other confused users

    Whilst many of the comments appear to be somewhat revealing, they can always be found on the wall and not in PM.

    It's clear that if this were the case, people's walls would be covered in literally hundreds of private messages. They also wouldn't all be just received messages, without replies.

    Nothing to see here, please move along.

    1. Jediben

      Re: Rumour

      "Nothing to see here, please move along."

      ...Before these shares in which I invested the kid's college money aren't worth the html they were written in!

  5. David Gosnell

    Who knows?

    Seeing reports of people specifically claiming individual messages are missing from private threads and appearing publicly in the timeline instead. Do remember that Facebook's social graph doesn't really discriminate between different kinds of objects, whether public posts, private messages, users, scams or whatever. They are all interconnected. For a private message to be revealed to the world would just take a careless intern programmer (or a glitch in the distributed data model) to accidentally change some arcane property they'd not read the documentation for. It would not, as Facebook techs suggest in their "refutal", require a deliberate data move between tables, because a message and a wall post are not fundamentally different types of data within the system. Bear in mind not dissimilar things have happened intentionally, such as group notes being converted to wall postings without any prior warning.

    So really who knows... In the meantime, it's quite fun being voyeuristic.

    1. Ben Rose

      Re: Who knows?

      Who knows?

      Anybody who has actually checked. It doesn't do it.

      If you've worked in IT long enough, as I'm sure many here have, you'll quickly realise that users can be REALLY stupid.

      1. David Gosnell

        Re: Who knows?

        However, equally, anyone who's been on Facebook long enough will know that glitches do affect small groups of users, and even more intentional functionality changes are rolled out piecemeal, so one person's "I'm all right Jack" experience does not prove anything for the whole. Yes, people used to be a lot more fast and loose with what they put on walls versus private messages, but this does not necessarily represent the entire story given the (admittedly anecdotal) evidence to the contrary.

        I for one was very bored when I got "timelined" and went though everything at the time to weed out unwanted content and still found some suspicious things yesterday. I'm not saying that's proof, because their screwy data model made things come and go during the weeding-out process, and I may have missed things, but then that's at least confirmation the data model is buggered so it really is anyone's guess what else could go wrong.

  6. Ben Rose

    The timeline changes over time, they add whatever _public_ data they want. You can be paranoid and keep checking it if you wish.

    You found some stuff yesterday, well done. It was already there and already posted to your wall for all your friends to see in years gone by. Did you find any private messages there? No. Did anybody? No.

    Case closed.

  7. Displacement Activity


    Ok... you've checked your own timeline and come to the conclusion that it's fine. From this you have deduced that (a) there is no problem, and (b) "users can be REALLY stupid"..

    Do you, perchance, happen to work in BT support? Or possibly Zen?

    1. Ben Rose

      Re: @BenRose

      No, I work at Facebook support of course...NOT.

      Trust me, I spent far too much time researching this non-issue. It doesn't exist.

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