Old Facebook posts haunt usersCNET's Sumi Das talks to reporter Donna Tam about the privacy fears Facebook users are experiencing as the social network continues the worldwide rollout of its Timeline feature.
-Hello and welcome to Inside Scoop. I'm Sumi Das, and with me is Donna Tam, she's the staff writer here at CNET. And there have been some reports flying around about a bug on Facebook. First of all, what's the belief that's happening? -So people are saying that they think that Facebook has dug up some of their old private messages between their friends and posted on their walls in a summary listed from far back as like 2008 or 2007 or-- so people are thinking that their private messages are now public. -Okay. But Facebook is contending that's actually not the case. There are no private messages that have been posted to people's timelines. -Right. Facebook is saying that we-- what we've done is we've done this round up of your old posts from every year, put them together in one place, and so it looks like it might be private messages but it's really just multiple posts from one year. -Uh-hmm. -And this is what their doing as a part of the timeline rule out. -And these were just posts that people made to your wall-- -Exactly. -so they were public to begin with. -Exactly. -Okay. At least public for people who were able to view your profile, okay. -Right. -I actually looked back at my timeline -Uh-hmm. -from those years and yeah, it did kind of seem like they were kind of private sounding messages but I think I just don't remember that back in 2007, somebody posted something on my wall, right? -Right. I think that's what Facebook is trying to say. Like, it seems confusing because particularly any messages before 2008, you didn't have like this kind of comment thread -Uh-hmm. -that you could do and see the whole conversation on one place. People had to post on your wall if they wanted to go back and forth with you. And so, a lot of people are seeing that and saying like hey, this looks like we're having conversation. Facebook is saying you were but it wasn't in private messaging. -Okay. So now, if you're going back and looking at those messages and thinking, oh, I kinda like those -Yeah. - to be private now even though if they were public before, what can you do about it? -Well, you can edit them from that little-- it looks almost like a little widget -Uh-hmm. -that has a summary of all the post, upper hand side there's a little option where you can click and hide it from your timeline. -Okay. -But you can also go into your activity log and delete anything you want or set privacy settings, change it to whoever you want to see it. So, you can do those things, you can also delete your private messages if you're scared that it is happening and there are ways to do that. So, yeah. -Facebook is just under a lot of scrutiny right now, right? -Yeah. -They can't catch a break in this post IPO world of theirs. -Yeah. -They can't catch a break. -For sure. I mean, a lot of people are concern about privacy and even though--Obviously. -Facebook would be really up in place that's a high priority for a lot of folks. -All right, Donna, thank you so much. -Thank you. -For Inside Scoop, I'm Sumi Das. Thanks for watching.