Did Facebook Mess With Your Address Book Contacts? Social Network Says It’s Looking Into Email Syncing Issue

It wasn’t enough fun for Facebook to change users’ default email addresses to its own “@facebook.com” addresses, nope. The contact snafu moved beyond the confines of the social network, with users reporting over the weekend that since their phones sync up with Facebook accounts, contact information in address books also switched to @facebook.com addresses.

The social network said today it’s investigating reports that the @facebook.com debacle also altered users’ contact lists.

“Regarding the phone syncing issue, we’re having the engineers look into it and will get back to you as soon as we can with more details,” a Facebook spokesman said in a statement, via PCMag.com.

No one was alerted beforehand that the email address switch would happen, although Facebook claims it was part of larger changes it told users about in April, regarding new URLs and email addresses.

CNET notes a post on the blog of an Adobe employee who found out that the @facebook.com address had made the leap to personal contact lists — bad news if you’re actually trying to contact someone who doesn’t often check the “Other” category in their Facebook inbox.

“Today, a co-worker discovered that his contact info for me had been silently updated to overwrite my work email address with my Facebook email address,” [she] wrote. “He discovered this only after sending work emails to the wrong address.”

Facebook’s spokesperson calls this “email loss” just “confusion” on the part of the Facebook users who don’t know an “Other” inbox exists.

“By default, messages from friends or friends of friends go into your Inbox. Everything else goes to your Other folder. (If you click on Messages in your left hand navigation menu, you’ll see below it an Other folder that drops down),” he wrote. “That is likely where the messages are being sent from other people’s emails. Even if that person is friends with them on Facebook, if the friend doesn’t have that email on their Facebook account, the message could end up in the Other folder.”

Because really, that’s what the issue is — not the fact that Facebook pushed the change to all users without so much as a heads up.

If you haven’t already change or update your email address in Facebook settings, here’s how: Go to your Timeline and click on “About.” Scroll down in “Contact Information” and hit “Edit.” Use the “X” out button to hide the @facebook.com email and show your preferred email address. Or if you don’t have Timeline yet (bless your heart, I’m jealous): Go to your profile, click “Update info,” scroll down to “Contact Info” and click “Edit.” Customize your setting depending on each individual email address.

Facebook Investigating Email Synching Problem [PCMag.com]
Facebook e-mail mess: Address books altered; e-mail lost [CNET]



Edit Your Comment

  1. HogwartsProfessor says:

    Like the tag.

  2. Daggertrout says:

    Why all the timeline hate? Did it kick your puppy in the balls?

    • OSAM says:

      It’s a terrible design. Speaking as someone who DOES THIS FOR A LIVING, it breaks every basic rule of UX and organization.

  3. TuxMan says:

    I really don’t consider anything facebook related as news worthy. Same goes for anything Apple.

    • Hank Scorpio says:

      So, something that potentially affects millions of people is not “news worthy” just because you happen to not like the company involved? That makes sense.

  4. Blueskylaw says:

    I am waiting for the day when Facebook announces that all the world’s information will be routed through Mark Zuckerbergs brain via oxygen free Monster Cables before eventually being passed to its intended recipient.

  5. nugatory says:

    Makes me glad I never gave facebook access to any of my contact lists. Guess its time I went to check all my settings again to see what they’ve changed.

    • belsonc says:

      Same here – I always make sure to share as little as possible via facebook. Hell, it kills me that I have to log into a couple of games through facebook (I know, I know, I don’t have to play the games – I want to play them, and if I have to log into FB to do so, so be it, but if I had any other option, I’d take it).

      • cSam says:

        Why don’t you create a dummy facebook account for games? That’s what I did – get a dedicated email address for spammy stuff, use it to create a facebook account, and voila! These random game apps have no insight into my actual personal info & friends.

  6. Not Given says:

    I just showed my son that they had changed his email on FB. I think he usually posts from his phone but he is here with no service from AT&T

  7. Guppy06 says:

    Facebook asking for your email, et al password should be viewed as a social engineering attack, nothing less. This is exactly why you’re told to not share your passwords with anyone, including (and especially) Facebook.

  8. dush says:

    This is why you don’t use Facebook’s app or connect facebook to your phone.

  9. carlogesualdo says:

    I do use the Facebook app on my phone, but this didn’t cause any problems for me because I don’t allow it to sync my contacts with Facebook. I also never Facebook permission to look at the contacts in my email so it could “find friends” for me. But I sure am upset for those who did.

    • Parting says:

      It depends on your phone. On Blackberry you can change the settings (I think you can also do the same on an iPhone.) However, on Android, you do not have a choice to sync contacts. Major reason I don’t use their app.