Last week I posted a tip (see below) on how to clean up your Facebook account in the wake of the social network’s latest email changes. The web was all-abuzz with Facebooks latest “enhancement”—Facebook changed the primary email address on millions of accounts. That means that the email account you actually display on Facebook was replaced with a facebook.com email address which you probably don’t use and probably didn’t even know existed (it was launched a while ago to compete with Google’s gmail).
This week it’s more of the same. Facebook users are reporting that their contacts’ email addresses have been “lost” and that when they go to email people they see only facebook.com email addresses for their contacts. This sounds quite alarming, however it happens only when you’ve synced your address book with your facebook contacts. If you’re a novice computer or smart phone user, you may have not done this synching as it entails implementing some software or an app. However if you’ve relied on someone to set up your accounts or your phone, it may have been done for you.
As a Facebook user it’s important to understand that
1. Facebook doesn’t vet their apps to the same level of security/privacy as say Apple’s iPhone and iPad apps.
2. When Facebook makes a change to their platform, they don’t necessarily coordinate the change with app developers.
3. Users (that’s you!) may not get advance warning or clean up advice from Facebook or app developers.
There’s no planned rollback to fix the email addresses that were replaced—If you’ve suffered this “enhancement” you’re on your own to identify and recover the email addresses you’ve lost. The best advice until Facebook gets its act together is to avoid storing data in Facebook or allowing it to change data on any other service.