Facebook blames bug for writing over contact email addresses

A bug may have reset your Facebook contacts' email addresses in the new @facebook.com mailbox, overwriting the original address info.

(Credit: Facebook; Ladybug image by OCAL, public domain)

A Facebook official said that the social network intended to give its new @facebook.com email addresses exclusive visibility on user profiles, but insisted that a software bug was responsible for resetting your contacts' email addresses.

The social network's faux pas, which outraged Facebook users and prompted misdirected emails throughout the web, was actually caused by a bug, Facebook said.

On certain devices, the bug synced the last email linked to the account, instead of the primary address set by a user, Facebook engineering director Andrew Bosworth told The Verge. This meant that phones were pulling down @facebook.com email addresses, unknown to their users — resulting in messages being sent to the wrong, and often unchecked, inboxes.

A Facebook spokesperson told CNET that most devices did not have the issue, but that the company is still working on fixing the bug for some devices.

"We are in the process of fixing this issue, and it will be resolved soon," the spokesperson said in an email. "After that, those specific devices should pull the correct addresses."

Until then, users can adjust their privacy settings to get it to show their primary email address, and not their Facebook one.

The company intended to give users more control over their messages through the new email system, according to the spokesperson.

In account settings, you can specify whether you want to receive messages from Friends, Friend of Friends or Everyone. If someone sends an email to your @facebook.com address, and it's from an address associated with a Facebook friend or a friend of a friend's account, it will go into the inbox. If it's from an address not associated with a friend or a friend of a friend's Facebook account, it will go into your other folder. If you've specified in privacy settings that you only want to receive messages from friends or friends of friends, then the message will bounce.

"We've noticed that in a very limited number of cases, the bounce email back to the original sender may not be delivered, because it may get intercepted by spam filters," the spokesperson said. "We are working to make sure that email senders consistently receive bounce messages."

Via CNET



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