Facebook users private messages made public – reputation management tips

Facebook users report that private messages from years 2006-2009 are being displayed on users timelines.

An alarming number of users have voiced concerns that their private messages are showing up on their public timeline and also on their friend’s timeline.

Mark Hall managing director of the online reputation management consultancy GotJuice.co.uk said: “We have been inundated with reports that a bug in the Facebook proprietary software, means that messages that friends have sent others in private are being displayed on users public timelines.”

“With more and more people using Facebook to organise social events, where bank details are passed through what was thought to be private messaging, the risk of fraudulent activity could be on the increase.

“It’s recommended that you spend a few minutes checking your timeline history for the years 2006–2009 and making sure the reported bug hasn’t affected you.

“To remove these messages simply login to Facebook and delete the message both from your timeline and from your private messages.”

Mr Hall continued on an advisory note with helpful tips: “Individuals need to think twice before sending any messages, posting status updates, sending a tweet or writing on forums or blogs, as on the web private information is not so private, and it just may come back and haunt you one day.

“Every time you update your Facebook status, upload a photo or send a tweet the information becomes public information.

“Even if you delete the photo or remove the tweet, its more than likely that a problem won’t go away, a friend could of retweeted the information, a photo could have been copied onto another site or a multitude of other things may happen.

“The end result is the same, things tend to stick around for a long time in cyber space.

“Your online actions could be used against you in later life, such as university admissions, recruitment managers, even potential dates.

“They will be able to view this information and form an opinion of you without having met you or having any further knowledge.”

For all the latest news see Thursday’s (October 4) Echo.