Due to a suspected recent tech glitch, a number of Facebook users have begun seeing private messages from years ago published on their Timelines for all to see. (Editor’s note: The controversial new Facebook Timeline design allows users to browse a profile’s history by year. When users click on a year, Facebook displays all the posts, photos, videos and other content added to the user’s profile page that year.) If this glitch is indeed real, this could be one of the greatest privacy scandals in Internet history.
“When I selected the year 1998 on my Timeline, I was shocked to see over 500 messages from notes I passed to my friends in Mr. Weiner’s 8th grade biology class,” claims Facebook user Jessica, “When I reviewed them, it became clear that these were sent through a private channel. The messages said things like, ‘The back of Monty’s head looks like a penis,’ and ‘Mr. Weiner’s breath stinks, and his class is sooo boring. I bet he’s gay.’ I may have had questionable judgment back then, but there’s no way I would have posted that stuff to Facebook for public consumption! Something is definitely fishy here.”
Now 27, Jessica works side-by-side with Mr. Weiner in her old middle school, with Monty as a colleague. She worries that she may lose her job or get tangled in a sexual harassment lawsuit thanks to the publication of these formerly top-secret notes.
Jennie Graft, 25, is similarly concerned about private messages from the ’90s popping up on her Timeline: “Yesterday I checked my wall — or I guess it’s “Timeline” now — and there was this note that said, ‘Do you think Becky Drecker is cute? Check one: Yes, No, Maybe.’ That was a private note! I thought I’d written it down on a piece of yellow lined paper and folded it into a little football. There’s no way I would have posted something so personal on my public Facebook page!”
Becky Drecker is now married with two kids. Graft worries that Jennie’s marriage will be ruined if her husband comes across the correspondence.
A Facebook spokesperson told Campus Basement:
Several users have expressed concern after what they mistakenly believed to be private notes from middle school appeared on their Timeline. Our tech team investigated these reports and found that the notes were older posts that had always been publicly visible on the users’ profile pages. Facebook is confident that there is no breach of security here, perhaps you should take some of the memory pills we advertise in the sidebar.
Facebook users really don’t know what to believe anymore.