Example: [Collected via e-mail, September 2012]
there's an easy fix — when you're in your own timeline, just click on the year on the right (2007, 2008, 2009) and you'll see a box with a bunch of friends' messages and a header that says
I actually did this on my wall and found it to be true, then I checked a friends wall to see if those messages were visible to me (not just her) and they are!! this is real.
Origins: The September 2012 warning reproduced above, about a recent change to Facebook supposedly making users' private inbox messages visible to everyone, proved to be a false alarm. According to a
A series of reports coming out of France — including ones from Metro France and
Some members in the U.S. have said their private messages from 2007 and 2008 are showing up on their Timeline, but Facebook said that the company hasn't found a bug and believes the discrepancy comes from a wider roll out of the newer Timeline layout on a global scale.
Facebook says that if you can comment or Like that activity, then it is a wall post and not a private message. In the past, users weren't able to comment and Like posts, so Facebook believes members new to Timeline are confusing old posts for private messages.
Constine notes that it can be hard to remember the way Facebook worked or the way we used it back in the day. Without comments, people would have conversations by exchanging wall posts, and any one taken out of context might seem like a private message. We also might not have been as careful with what we posted to walls back then before everyone’s
The wall posts are appearing on Facebook's Timeline, which shows your Facebook information on a year-by-year basis. Timeline, not beloved by everyone, started being rolled out to all of Facebook's 955 milllion users worldwide in recent weeks by the social network.
Here on the Tech team, we checked our own Facebook accounts to make sure. Indeed, older posts were showing up on our Timelines. But they were not the private emails, or direct messages, that are sent between Facebook users and are not visible to anyone else.
They were, however, a story from another time, a time when Facebook friends really were friends, and it was a smaller virtual community than it is now.
Of course, many of us shared our addresses, phone numbers and what now seem like very personal messages as wall posts because most of us a) didn't have more than 200 "friends" like we do now and B) we didn't know better then; Facebook was still a magical place and we were digitally naive.