10 April 2018

TechCrunch: “Facebook retracted Zuckerberg’s messages from recipients’ inboxes”

You can’t remove Facebook messages from the inboxes of people you sent them to, but Facebook did that for Mark Zuckerberg and other executives. Three sources confirm to TechCrunch that old Facebook messages they received from Zuckerberg have disappeared from their Facebook inboxes, while their own replies to him conspicuously remain. An email receipt of a Facebook message from 2010 reviewed by TechCrunch proves Zuckerberg sent people messages that no longer appear in their Facebook chat logs or in the files available from Facebook’s Download Your Information tool.

When asked by TechCrunch about the situation, Facebook claimed in this statement it was done for corporate security:

“After Sony Pictures’ emails were hacked in 2014 we made a number of changes to protect our executives’ communications. 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.”

Josh Constine

Among all the past and recent scandals involving Facebook, this one feels to me the most damning for their corporate culture. In the context of a criminal investigation, this may well be regarded as tampering with evidence, no matter their clever justifications. I don’t see how anyone could trust any statement coming from Facebook officials if they can decide at any moment to just delete the messages from their system!

Funny thing is, they didn’t even try to deny it; instead, a couple of days later, Facebook promised to release a similar feature for all users – as if this would make everything OK.

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