- Internet awash with rumours of massive privacy bug
- Facebook claims messages are simply older, public messages users had forgotten about
PUBLISHED:13:33 EST, 24 September 2012| UPDATED:13:48 EST, 24 September 2012
Facebook has denied a bug on its site is causing private messages to be displayed on people’s walls.
Online users have claimed private messages written in 2009 and earlier were today showing up on viewable timelines as messages ‘posted by friends’.
The reports were mainly in the US and France, and only appeared to affect some users.
Facebook acknowledged the problem had been raised by users, but denied there was a problem, saying it has ‘extensively investigated’ them.
‘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 concerns come as Facebook is looking to tackle Google by making search a much more prominent part of its social network.
Mark Zuckerberg said: ‘Facebook is pretty uniquely positioned to answer the questions people have’ – and plans to build more powerful search facilities as Facebook evolves.
The social network is already tweaking its search capabilities – with any search a user makes in the top bar now stored and displayed by Facebook.
Facebook said it will now log all searches made in Facebook, which users can then see by clicking on the Activity Log button.
The company stressed that any searches you make will not be visible to other users.
However the move may spark privacy concerns about what data the website giant keeps on users, and how they will use that data in order to prove search functionality.
In a statement, the company said: ‘In addition to your other activity, you’ll be able to see the searches you’re making on Facebook.
‘Just as you can choose to delete any of your posts, you can use the same inline control on Activity Log to remove any of your searches at any time.’
Facebook added: ‘It’s important to remember that no one else can see your Activity Log, including your search activity.
‘You can expect to see your Activity Log updated with your search activity over the next few weeks.
‘You can access this tool by going to the top of your profile, and going to Search from the activity sorter.’
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