Facebook vows to fix ‘bug’ that deletes contact info
A magnifying glass is posed over a monitor displaying a Facebook page in Munich. (AP / Joerg Koch)
Published Tuesday, July 3, 2012 10:20AM EDT
Facebook has promised to fix a bug that was deleting email contact information in some smartphone and tablet address books and replacing them with @facebook.com emails.
The announcement comes amid complaints that Facebook switched the contact information listed for its 900 million users to promote its in-house email system as the primary means of contact.
Facebook said a “bug” was responsible for a similar change that happened on some devices connected to the social network, causing changes to personal address books and causing lost and misdirected emails.
In an official statement to CTVNews.ca, Facebook confirmed that a bug was pulling facebook.com email addresses into some Facebook-enabled smartphone and tablet address books and overwriting primary email addresses.
“We are in the process of fixing this issue and it will be resolved soon. After that, those specific devices should pull the correct addresses,” the statement read.
The glitch comes after Facebook changed the contact information on its users’ profiles to list in-house @facebook.com email addresses as their primary contact information.
Those who had Google, Yahoo or other email accounts attached to their Facebook page now receive their correspondence directly into their Facebook message centre.
The move seems to be designed to create a captive audience, keeping more activity inside the Facebook framework, and cutting out media companies such as Google and Yahoo.
The change prompted an outpouring of complaints that the social network had gone too far in switching user contact information.
A number of bloggers claimed the changes were resulting in redirected emails disappearing entirely.
In its statement, Facebook said the @facebook.com change has given users better control over who can contact them, letting people decide whether to limit contact to friends, or allow anyone to contact them.
The problem of disappearing emails occurs when someone without permission to contact a user sends an email, and the message is sent to a separate folder.
Facebook said that some emails that bounced back to the original sender were being intercepted by spam filters – an issue they are trying to fix.