A chain message that erupted on Facebook sometime back is spreading like wildfire, and has left the Facebook team annoyed. The message states that Facebook has published phone numbers of all users under Accounts > Edit Friends > Contacts page.
Well, it’s true that if you go to the Contactspage in your Facebook account, all the phone numbers of your friends will be displayed. However, this isn’t what Facebook has intentionally published, but it is the users themselves who have made it available for others.
The phone numbers displayed are of those users who have ‘permitted’ Facebook to display it to either everyoneor just friendsor to none. As a matter of fact, the Contact list, which was earlier known as Phonebook, has existed for a long time.
The rumor spread on almost everyone’s news feed and eventually spammed the network, driving the Facebook officials crazy and making them make an official statement announcing/stating that it is a rumor.
Rumors claiming that your phone contacts are visible to everyone on Facebook are false. Our Contacts list, formerly called Phonebook, has existed for a long time. The phone numbers listed there were either added by your friends themselves or made visible to you, or you have previously synced your phone contacts with Facebook. Just like on your phone, only you can see these numbers.
Here’s the message that has been spreading on Facebook
THIS IS NOT A JOKE, PLEASE READ CAREFULLY** ALL THE PHONE NUMBERS IN YOUR PHONE are now on Facebook! No joke – go to the top right of the screen, click on Account, then click on Edit Friends, go left on the screen and click on Contacts. All phone numbers are published!! Please repost this on your status, so your friends can remove their numbers if they do not want them published.
To prevent your contact number from being displayed to your friends or anyone else, you can disable it from your account settings. To do so go to Account Settings > Privacy Preferences and click on “Customize settings” –
Clicking the Customize settingswill open a page where you can customize what information you want to share with your friends and everyone else. Scroll down, and at the bottom of the page you will find Contact Informationwhich has your address, IM screen name, email id and your contact numbers.
From the drop down menu, select Customizeand make your contact number visible only to you by selecting Only Me. Alternatively, you can add a list of people from whom you can hide your contact numbers.
Facebook scam messages are ever increasing and it’s quite hard to avoid them. Here is an article on How to Identify and Avoid Facebook Scams
Other hoax messages spreading on Facebook that you should avoid re-posting –
- Olympic Torch Invitation Virus Hoax Spreading on Facebook
- Urgent Prayer Request for Aydin Who is Suffering from Leukemia – Facebook Hoax