UPDATED 10:20 EDT / JULY 03 2012

Facebook E-mail Debacle Takes a Turn for the Worse

Facebook is always thinking of something new way to piss off their users.  From the Timeline feature to the “seen” feature, there’s always some new-fangled product or service released by the social network that’s unsettling to users upon first introduction.

Just last week Facebook rolled out their new e-mail service.  Yes, Facebook now has their own e-mail and users now have a @facebook.com e-mail address and Facebook made it the default e-mail address that everyone sees.  I didn’t even know about this until I was about to edit my contact information and saw my new e-mail address.  Talk about invasion of privacy.

Blogger Gervase Markham, one of the first to draw attention to the change, was scathing in his comments.

“Facebook silently inserted themselves into the path of formerly-direct unencrypted communications from people who want to email me. In other contexts, this is known as a Man In The Middle (MITM) attack,” he wrote, referring to a tactic hackers use to intercept electronic messages. “What on earth do they think they are playing at?”

The worst part is, whatever software they used for this invasion crossed to mobile devices.  Those handsets with contacts synced to Facebook accounts experienced deleted e-mail addresses.  Existing e-mail addresses were replaced by the @facebook.com e-mail address.  This ticked off a lot of users who in turn complained on the interwebs.

Facebook soon addressed the situation, stating it was caused by a software bug.

It’s just a bug, we’re fixing it

“For people on certain devices, a bug meant that the device was pulling the last email address added to the account rather than the primary email address, resulting in @facebook.com addresses being pulled,” Facebook said in an e-mailed statement.

Really, Facebook?  A bug?  Aside from the “it’s a bug” explanation, Facebook did not divulge any more information about how the bug infiltrated mobile contacts but stated that they’re already fixing the problem.  No news on whether the deleted e-mails would be retrieved.

A likely story, Facebook.  Every time they push on a new feature that people don’t like, they either say that they’re experiencing some technical glitch, a bug, or they’re not done updating, then apologize and say they’re working on a way fix the problem.  Their routine is getting quite old.

@facebook.com – Seriously? 

As for the @facebook.com e-mail, Facebook doesn’t really have a separate inbox for e-mails–they go to your Facebook messages.  And if you decide to send e-mails to a non-@facebook.com address, the receiver would get your message in the same format as a conversation on Facebook.

If you don’t want @facebook.com showing up on your Timeline, just go the About section, find the Contact Info box, click edit.  There you’ll see the e-mail address section–there’s a dropdown menu for it.  Click on “Hidden from Timeline” and you won’t have to see a Facebook-branded default email address again.


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