Facebook Changed Your Email Address Information Without Permission, Here’s How to Fix It

If you’re on Facebook, you probably haven’t noticed it yet but Facebook decided overnight that everyone needed to display a new default email address on their profile:

Facebook just removed everyone’s email address from their profile and replaced it with an @facebook.com email address without asking you. Here’s how to easily fix the problem.

Facebook launched its own email service back in 2010, which was promptly forgotten by everyone. This morning, Forbes noticedthat they removed everyone’s email addresses from their profiles, replacing them with an @facebook.com email address instead (not Facebook’s internal email address which they use for notifications and password resets, just the one listed on your profile)

Personally I had forgotten that I even had an @facebook.com email address, as I am sure all of you have. Thankfully, it’s easy to fix what they did here:

  1. Click “About” on your profile and scroll down to your email address. Click “Edit” to change them.
  2. Click on the circle next to your Facebook email address and change its setting to “Hidden From Timeline”.
  3. Click on the circle next to your other email addresses and change their settings to “Shown On Timeline”.
  4. Click the Save button at the bottom of the Edit popup (Don’t forget this step).

Of course, that doesn’t excuse the fact that Facebook decided to change some 800 million profiles without anyone’s permission. Here’s their explanation for it, which doesn’t even include an apology:

As we announced back in April, we’ve been updating addresses on Facebook to make them consistent across our site.

In addition to everyone receiving an address, we’re also rolling out a new setting that gives people the choice to decide which addresses they want to show on their timelines.

Ever since the launch of timeline, people have had the ability to control what posts they want to show or hide on their own timelines, and today we’re extending that to other information they post, starting with the Facebook address.

Thanks for nothing, Zuckerberg.

FILED UNDER: Economics and Business, Quick Takes,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Kenny says:

    Facebook has never done anything in our interests and isn’t starting now.

    We’ve only ourselves to blame.




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  2. Moosebreath says:

    Yet another reason I am glad I am not on Facebook.




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  3. al-Ameda says:

    The internet is the greatest self-inflicted loss of privacy in the history of the world.




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  4. Dana says:

    This isn’t even true. I just checked my facebook page, and MY settings were current. People try to make facebook out to be this horrible monster…it’s a FREE service. Quit complaining, and quit lying.




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  5. Rick Almeida says:

    @Dana:

    It was certainly true for me – I checked right after I read the post.




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  6. jaconator says:

    @Dana – I encourage you to not totally trust a publicly traded company. They make their money by using whatever legal means they can to get specific demographic info and thus act on that information… thus you and your info are possibly now public and very accessible. I checked to verify the notice and my email had been changed and was marked as “public”. I then made it “Friends except acquaintances” to limit the visibility.




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  7. G.A. says:

    Thanks Doug…




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  8. al-Ameda says:

    @Dana:

    Quit complaining, and quit lying.

    (1) Quit complaining? The internet might cease to exist, and that would cause the loss of millions of jobs.
    (2) Quit lying? Dana, not every statement that you disagree with is a lie, okay?




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  9. Kathy Kattenburg says:

    Seems to be the culture at Facebook to make important changes to users’ personal information either without giving us a choice, or by making it opt-out instead of opt-in — and in this case without even TELLING us.




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  10. James Joyner says:

    There’s a great Mashable post on this titled “Facebook: The Honey Badger of Social Media.”

    The only value I see to this is that it gives non-friends a contact point. But that only works if people check this email every once in a while and, well, we don’t.




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  11. Mikey says:

    All they did to mine was add the @facebook.com address. My primary e-mail did not change and was not deleted. If someone were to send an e-mail to the Facebook address, it would drop into the Messages part.

    As far as “permission” goes, you agreed to Facebook’s terms of service when you signed up. Having clicked OK without reading it does not grant you permission to bitch when they change something.




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