Feeds

Facebook denies Timeline publishes punters' private posts

It's just a Web2.0rrhea rumour... bitch

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

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 introduced as a replacement for the company's previous profile pages as the site undergoes a significant scrapbook-like makeover.

But Facebook has robustly rejected such claims, saying it would be impossible for a personal message to end up on a person's "wall".

Instead, The Register understands that the Timeline design has confused some Facebookers, especially as old wall posts have all been amalgamated under annual banners.

The bunching together of messages shared between long-term users of the site does make the posts appear more personal. They also show how much more frank and revealing people actually were on the site five years ago, compared to today's locked-down usage.

Here's Facebook's official line on the matter:

A small number of users raised concerns after what they 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.

The company probed a similar claim late last year that was also found to be simply a damaging rumour. In 2007, Facebook didn't offer a comments feature, so Wall posts - which are naturally more open exchanges - were pervasive back then.

El Reg heard from a couple of readers who claimed that their personal messages were showing up on their Timelines. However, no one was able to demonstrate that the alleged security flaw had occurred.

Meanwhile, shares in Facebook tripped the Nasdaq's "circuit breaker" on Monday, after stock fell 10 per cent following an extremely stinky analyst report from Barron's. The analyst snootily noted that Mark Zuckerberg's recently floated company appeared to have been "caught by surprise" by the explosion in smartphone usage. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Scotland's BIG question: Will independence cost me my broadband?
They can take our lives, but they'll never take our SPECTRUM
Trying to sell your house? It'd better have KILLER mobile coverage
More NB than transport links to next-gen buyers - study
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
NBN Co adds apartments to FTTP rollout
Commercial trial locations to go live in September
Samsung Z Tizen OS mobe is post-phoned – this time for good?
Russian launch for Sammy's non-droid knocked back
Telstra to KILL 2G network by end of 2016
GSM now stands for Grave-Seeking-Mobile network
Seeking LTE expert to insert small cells into BT customers' places
Is this the first step to a FON-a-like 4G network?
What FTC lawsuit? T-Mobile US touts 10GB, $100 family-of-4 plan
Folks 'could use that money for more important things' says CEO Legere
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.