Ok spreading across the internet is a story that all of your private messages are now public. There is some truth to it and you should now review your timeline.
The big scary message reads:
*Your Private inbox messages are now visible for all to see***It almost sounds like one of those scary GOP conspiracy theories, ones that your Aunt Edna posts telling you that President Obama was going to take guns away from shooting contestants at the Olympics. There is of course a difference, there are not many spelling mistakes and capital letters appear in the right place. Notice the absence of exclamation marks !!!!111!!!! etc
All private messages from 2010 And earlier Are all visible On your Facebook wall!!! This could get VERY Awkward, Very quickly .... this is a new change from Facebook as of yesterday.
Don't believe me? Read your timeline from those years.....yikes! They look like wall posts .......they are not!!! There is an easy fix---When you're in your own timeline, Just click on the year on the right (2007,2008,2009) And on your timeline straight under that year on the right you'll see a box with a bunch of friends messages And a header that says 89 People have written on your timeline---Hover over the right until you see the pencil click and select hide from Timeline. Do that for each year!! These are NOT all wall posts, they are PRIVATE messages!!!!! REPOST And make sure your friends get on to this as you deleting the conversations on your end doesn't ensure that conversations are deleted completely!! Messages may still appear on your friends walls!!!
On looking into this further - no actual instant messages are revealed but what you thought may have been private wall posts set only for a user or group may very well be visible. This could get people sacked, divorced, or some other serious consequence.
If you are a long term facebook user your early pre 2010 privacy settings will have changed a lot and they have been reset a number of times by facebook updates since then.
Facebook has denied that people can see other peoples private messages. This is true for facebook,wall messages and instant messages have always been different. For users, it is only true to some extent. In the not so recent past people used to instant message each other by direct wall posts, which they restricted at the time to the other party. Some still do this. Those restrictions have been reset a number of times. So what you may have thought are private messages are now available for your boyfriend, girlfriend, boss, wife, husband, etc to see.
To solve follow the squiggle
This part of the scary message is actually correct
When you're in your own timeline, Just click on the year on the right (2007,2008,2009) And on your timeline straight under that year on the right you'll see a box with a bunch of friends messages And a header that says xx People have written on your timeline---Hover over the right until you see the pencil click and select hide from Timeline.Do that for each year, especially the early years, which may be grouped as 2000's as your facebook usage was very likely to be different to now.
Now, we all accept Facebook is a genius idea, a company built on selling private information. Details of your hobbies, your pictures, your friends, your friends of friends are all traded so you can play a game less advanced than those that run on aCommodore 64era computer or get a birthday reminder. No-one should be surprised by this. Wall posts were only ever sort of private. Facebook announced the roll out of the time-line version. This was coming.
The lesson, an old one to reaffirm this simple message - be careful what you post online.
Wed Oct 03, 2012 at 11:29 AM PT: To the two who claimed this was false, I have already addressed the difference between instant messages and previously what was considered a private wall post becoming available.
Privacy settings on facebook have changed considerably from 2008 and the introduction of the timeline makes available wall posts that people actually treated as IMs.