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Facebook posting old messages to user timelines

Facebook says that only old Wall messages are republishing, but some users in Europe and the US claim the publicly-displayed messages were private.

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In a picture taken on May 15, 2012, a girl logs into Facebook on her smartphone in Kuala Lumpur. (SAEED KHAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Several outlets have reported that a "bug" is afflicting the accounts of some Facebook users in Europe and the US, re-publishing old messages to their timelines.

The problem? Users claimed that the old content being made public included messages that were previously private. The problem was first reported today in French newspapers, including Metro France. According to Slate, the Metro report was the first Facebook had heard of the problem.

British users also reported the problem, according to the Huffington Post UK.

Once they looked into it, however, Facebook denied that private messages were being reposted, the Telegraph said.

The question of the moment then became, in the words of Slate: "Is Facebook publishing people's private messages, or are we all freaking out over nothing?"

At present, it appears that Facebook may be correct that the old information being posted is only public material.

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TechCrunch reporter Colleen Taylor wrote that her outlet had "found no evidence that the allegedly exposed posts were actually private messages."

"Our Facebook specialist Josh Constine found that email receipts show allegedly exposed messages were in fact wall posts, and the posts do not appear in users’ Facebook Messages inbox," Taylor wrote.

Facebook said in an e-mail to Slate that the company "is satisfied that there has been no breach of user privacy."

In fact, the "bug" that has caused some user panic today may simply be part of a planned rollout of the new Timeline feature, CNet reported.

Apparently, even Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg's page had a taste of deja vu. According to the Telegraph, "His profile showed a message to a friend that said '2009 is going to be a huge year.'"

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/business/technology/120924/facebook-bug-posting-old-messages-user-timelines