Facebook just made your private messages public—here’s what to do

The glitch reveals private messages on Timeline


Just one more security glitch for Facebook.

If you have any secrets you shared on Facebook in the past five years, you might have something to worry about. Reports suggest that private messages have just recently become available to the public—if you know where to look.

From 2007 to 2012, some private Facebook messages are now viewable on Timeline. They’re grouped alongside public wall messages, leading many users to believe they were just old comments.

Users now have to go to each year separately on Timeline, and hide the messages from public view. If your friends don’t hide them, though, they’re still publicly available.

Facebook is denying the breach of privacy. It says users are confusing public wall posts with private messages. This is in direct contradiction with users who claim to be finding their private messages on Timeline.

For now, many Facebook users are opting to simply deactivate their accounts until the website restores their privacy. You can hide your Timeline posts entirely by clicking on Privacy Settings, then on Timeline and Tagging. You can change settings to restrict who can view your posts, and who can post to your Timeline.

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Facebook just made your private messages public—here’s what to do

  1. I know I won’t have any Facebook friends. I just make Hate comments on the Web.

  2. Are you sure it’s not just you? Don’t see anything on my timeline…

  3. Lies

  4. Found private messages on my wall and my husbands. Not confusing it at all. I am pretty sure some of those things are not things I’d have said publically…

  5. showing up on my timeline…fack!

  6. This is bull.

  7. I can’t change the privacy settings of these posts, regular posts you can change privacy settings on.

  8. It’s true. But all you have to do is go to each year, find the box labeled “friends” and hover over the edit button. There you can select “hide from timeline”. Easy.

  9. Same with my wall – there were definitely private messages they had up there… It was things that were never ever shared publicly… I didn’t believe it at first, but one i scrolled through sure enough i found messages from my ex, messages from friends telling me about dates they had been on, etc… From 2007 – last year

  10. Yup, true. I sent a video to ONE person and it was just on my timeline – until I hid it. UGH!

  11. I talked to a few of my friends who also had this. TRUST ME they were inbox messages!! Some of it was VERY personal.

  12. msgs i previosuly deleted for good reason are all over my wall! facebook you need to sort it out!

  13. it’s definitely true. Just had to go through Timeline and get rid of messages…NOT wall posts…that I had received. And I checked a friend’s timeline and sure enough, private message I’d sent were there are well. Facebook lies. Big surprise.

  14. I’ve been researching this all week and what’s so funny is everyone is still complaining that this happened yet not a single person has provided proof. Not one screen shot or anything matching private inbox messages to something showing on their wall. All I’m hearing is but I KNOW it was a private message…. but they can’t prove it. Funnier still, Private message DID NOT EXIST on facebook prior 2006- 2010.

  15. If it did work like that, it doesn’t now. I left a pm at 11pm tonight and it is not on my news feed, my wall or even in my activity log. It is still in the private message for the person I left it for but no where else.