January 27, 2022

"Bogus Warnings Phone Warnings Go Viral On Facebook"

Here’s yet another example of how quickly bad info can spread. Once it’s posted (and if seen) the person posting it (regardless of intent) looses control. If a person or company does not respond quickly and completely the rumor can continue to spread making the actual, correct info a larger challenge to disseminate and get read.

From AllFacebook.com:

Facebook users are reposting status updates erroneously warning each other that the site shows contacts’ phone numbers, and that they can be hidden by using the privacy settings.

Alexisa Tsotis on TechCrunch:

Facebook has responded to a privacy scare meme likely deriving from a recent HackerNews thread called “Facebook has your complete phonebook”  both with an official post on Facebook’s Wall and a personal message from a Facebook Messenger engineer Ben Gertzfield on HackerNews.

Direct from Facebook:

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 and 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.

More From WSJ:

Facebook has taken to its own page to dispel myths about itself less than a dozen times, [Meredith] Chin, [a Facebook spokesperson] said. She said the company uses the approach when it sees a rumor is trending in Facebook traffic or if the company starts receiving an influx of emails.

The most frequent rumors circling on the social network are that Facebook is going to start charging users and that it’s going to shut down its services, she said. The company tried to stop the rumor that it will start charging users money by putting a line into its log in page that says Facebook does not and never will charge users for its service. It still sees the rumor pop up, though.

See Also: “The Study About IE Users Being Dumber than Opera and Chrome Users Was a Hoax”
We posted this item last week.

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.