Feeds

Facebook denies Timeline publishes punters' private posts

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

Maximizing your infrastructure through virtualization

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. ®

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
Major problems beset UK ISP filth filters: But it's OK, nobody uses them
It's almost as though pr0n was actually rather popular
Apple orders huge MOUNTAIN of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s
Bigger, harder trouser bulges foretold for fanbois
Google Nest, ARM, Samsung pull out Thread to strangle ZigBee
But there's a flaw in Google's IP-based IoT system
US freemium mobile network eyes up Europe
FreedomPop touts 'free' calls, texts and data
'Two-speed internet' storm turns FCC.gov into zero-speed website
Deadline for comments on net neutrality shake-up extended to Friday
Oh girl, you jus' didn't: Level 3 slaps Verizon in Netflix throttle blowup
Just hook us up to more 10Gbps ports, backbone biz yells in tit-for-tat spat
Want to beat Verizon's slow Netflix? Get a VPN
Exec finds stream speed climbs when smuggled out
prev story

Whitepapers

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
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.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.