Facebook has been going through the most tumultuous phase in the company’s history, with the stunning Cambridge Analytica revelations leading to the biggest period of user frustration since it launched. The public incident led to Mark Zuckerberg’s social-media empire losing a whopping $70 billion in 10 days. Facebook’s unprecedented data breach scandal has led to a much clearer understanding of just how all-encompassing these services are, overall, when it comes to your personal life.
We recently learned that ICE, the Immigration Customs and Enforcement agency, has benefited hugely from data uploaded to Facebook. People are deleting their accounts, protesting, and spearheading the most active anti-Facebook campaigns ever. Most recently, learned that CEO Mark Zuckerberg is getting the exclusive treatment in terms of privacy rights on his own platform—with old messages of his being deleted from people’s inboxes in the name of ‘corporate security.’
According to TechCrunch, removing Facebook messages from the inboxes of recipients isn’t possible. Surely, we’ve all desperately tried to do as much, after sending an embarrassing message (or nine) to an ex-girlfriend (or all of them). These most recent revelations show that Facebook did just that, however, for its founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg. He’s essentially being given user and privacy rights that literally every single other user on the planet does not have—and it’s being done for the sake of a nebulous, preventative anti-hacking argument.
TechCrunch uncovered this activity when sources confirmed that old Facebook messages from Zuckerberg had suddenly disappeared, with only their own replies staying in place. TechCrunch compared email receipts from 2010 which prove Facebook messages from Zuckerberg were sent, with the Facebook chat logs—proving that the messages were deleted in-house. Naturally, when privacy rights are curbed by a giant corporate entity (or the government), those responsible claim ‘security’ as the benevolent reason to do so.
“After Sony Pictures’ emails were hacked in 2014 we made a number of changes to protect our executive’s communications,” Facebook’s email to TechCrunch states. “These included limiting the retention period for Mark’s messages in Messenger. We did so in full compliance with our legal obligations to preserve messages.”
What this boils down to is Facebook tampering with the inboxes of its users, without notifying them. The company did so covertly, with only investigative journalism alerting us citizens to this activity. Facebook did not inform its users publicly or privately. This was all uncovered by hard-working journalists, with the company presumably not too happy about it. This is yet another public nail in the scandalous coffin of the social media behemoth’s recent history.
According to TechCrunch, Facebook now intends on implementing an “unsend” feature in the next few months, which would allow users to remove sent messages from people’s inboxes. Nice save, Facebook.