Facebook recently made abrupt changes to email addresses that agitated and stirred up its massive user base. Now, these users have another thing to complain about and get their hands full: the world’s largest social networking site has modified address books and lost email messages.
The new moans on Facebook that set off all the web logs on the Internet seems to affect individuals with mobile devices or software that syncs their address book with their Facebook contacts.
Facebook users last week found out that the company subtly altered email addresses shown on their Timeline pages. The social network changed them to @Facebook.com email addresses. Users vented frustrations and sounded off that Facebook apparently implemented the change without informing them first. They carried the complaint to Twitter and community forums within Facebook.
However, that may just be a harbinger for more reasons to show concern. Now there might be more cause for concern.
Violet Blue of CNET posted a good deal of complaints and words of advice on the new problem from various netizens.
“Today, a co-worker discovered that his contact info for me had been silently updated to overwrite my work email address with my Facebook email address. He discovered this only after sending work emails to the wrong address. And even worse, the emails are not actually in my Facebook messages. I checked. They’ve vanished into the ether,” an Adobe employee wrote in her personal blog.
On the face of it, emails disappeared despite the fact that, on Facebook, she changed back the @Facebook address with her correct email address.
“It has now been revealed that automatic altering of users’ contacts without notification was, in fact, disturbingly actually built into Apple’s new iOS 6 Facebook integration: Facebook for iOS will change address books without any warning,” Blue asserted.
After which, she showed a post on Hacker News where an individual who used iOS 6 preview claimed that his/her contacts’ primary email addresses changed. Perhaps this user may be right, but iOS 6 won’t arrive until fall this year. Apple could have found a remedy for this by that time. Unlike Facebook, Apple usually has the knowledge, skill and aptitude to maintain a clean nose in terms of privacy and user experience.
Facebook answered the complaints but blamed users’ confusion on the issue. “By default, messages from friends or friends of friends go into your Inbox,” a Facebook spokesperson told CNET. “Everything else goes to your Other folder. (If you click on Messages in your left hand navigation menu, you’ll see below it an Other folder that drops down.) That is likely where the messages are being sent from other people’s emails. Even if that person is friends with them on Facebook, if the friend doesn’t have that email on their Facebook account, the message could end up in the Other folder.”
What To Do
Meanwhile, if you worry about the risk of losing your email, it would be best to check and disable or delete any software that syncs with your Facebook contacts. To change the Facebook email address, go to Timeline > About > Edit, which is next to your Contact Info box.
We are not sure how many Facebook users experienced this problem. Personally, I entrust most of my data on Google, and whenever changes are made with my contacts, the modifications appear on my computer and Android phone because of synchronization. So far, this has served as my backup for calendar and contacts. I didn’t lose emails even though my Facebook address changed, just like the rest of the users.
Many factors could have brought the whole issue out of proportion. Break into a conversation, if you want. If you have similar experiences with affected users, please share with us in the comments section what occurred and what software and apps you were using.
Amid all the pointing of fingers and confusion, Facebook has tested its users’ patience again by enforcing a far-flung alteration without a clear notice. In all fairness, the company did announce the change in email address, but the notification was only a four-sentence press release issued in April.
Are you tired of hearing and going through Facebook’s reckless behavior and bag of tricks? There’s always Google+, where your data allegedly is kept safe by Google.