Facebook continues deceptions in its messaging service

If you look at your profile on Facebook today, you’ll possibly see a new email for yourself: [your Facebook user name]@facebook.com.

I have long displayed my email publicly on Facebook: billdawers@comcast.net. Facebook contacts are welcome to send me messages directly via Facebook, but I’d prefer for various business contacts to come through my Comcast account.

Forbes has a great piece about this today, Facebook’s Lame Attempt To Force Its Email Service On You:

Security researcher Ashkan Soltani meanwhile calls it “slightly fishy to auto-replace your default email address with ‘facebook.com’ without any user consent.” After all, it should be up to Facebook users to determine the information in their profile about how they want to be contacted, not Facebook. I hope they don’t start taking other liberties with my profile page, changing my interests, hobbies, and “in a relationship with” to “Facebook. Only Facebook.” I realize that there’s research out there suggesting that oversharing on Facebook is as pleasurable as sex and eating delicious things, but I’m not that into it.

A Facebook spokesperson says the company has been updating Facebook addresses for users since April. Without specifying when exactly the company made this the default contract address for its users, the spokesperson says the site is “rolling out a new setting that gives people the choice to decide which addresses they want to show on their timelines.”

That last comment from the Facebook spokesperson is pretty close to a lie. I was never given the opportunity to “decide” anything about this — just as I was never given the opportunity to decide that many messages would slip into an “Other” box that many Facebook users do not even know is there.

If you don’t know about that, go to your Facebook homepage, click on the word “Messages” in the upper left hand corner and then click on the word “Other” that has appeared below it.

If you want to change your email contact back to what you want it to be, go to your profile page or timeline, click on “About”, and then simply change the settings under “Contact”.

Monkeying around with contact settings without telling users is a sure way not only to create anger and distrust, but also potentially to damage business relationships and deals.

Such secrecy is doing Facebook no favors. Apparently mobile users now have access to what CNN calls a “stalking app” even though the app has not been publicly announced.