Facebook Email Fiasco: 900 Million+ Profile Updates Without Permission

SMS Text

facebook email addressEven though most Facebook users were not even aware that they had a Facebook email address, the social network recently changed the publicly displayed email address for its more than 900 million users. Now, instead of your “real” email address (email@gmail.com) being displayed, your Facebook email (facebook.url@facebook.com) is displayed on the Facebook profile page.

For example, a Facebook user that has a Facebook URL of facebook.com/john.doe will now have a publicly displayed email address of john.doe@facebook.com in lieu of his original email. When someone sends a message to the Facebook branded email address, the message goes directly to the user’s Facebook inbox and does not send a notification to the Facebook user’s primary email address.

A Facebook spokesman told Fox News the following regarding the recent change:

“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.”

As seen in the company quote, Facebook is claiming that the unannounced move to Facebook-branded email addresses is rooted in protecting users’ privacy and security. However, since Facebook users already had the ability to easily hide their email addresses, changing over 900 million users’ email addresses to the generic Facebook address without permission or notification has not been well received. As a result of the change, Facebook critics are already accusing the social network of attempting to force users to notice and use the previously, mostly unused Facebook email service.

If you want to switch back to displaying your “real” email address on Facebook, simply follow the steps below:

1. Navigate to your own profile page.
2. Click the “Update Info” button.
3. Find the “Contact Info” section and click “Edit.”
4. In the email address section, click the arrows next to the email address you wish to have displayed.
5. Select who you would like to see your email address (friends or public), and then choose “Shown on Profile.”
6. Click “Save Changes” at the bottom of the page.

Sources Include: TechCrunch, Fox News, & ZDNet

David Angotti

David Angotti

After successfully founding and exiting an educational startup in 2009, I began helping companies with business development, search engine marketing (SEM), search engine optimization (SEO),... Read Full Bio
David Angotti
Get the latest news from Search Engine Journal!
We value your privacy! See our policy here.
  • Ken

    Thank you David, I don’t know how long it would have taken me to find out about this change if I didn’t read your post. When we are using Facebook, we don’t really know what other people see, so things like this can go by totally unnoticed.

    Really, you expect that your settings should remain as you set them. It’s fine for Facebook to add new settings and give them a default. Changing how you setup your account is going a bit far.

    Thanks again,

  • Norm

    Personally, I don’t feel this is the worst thing in the world that a company has ever done. Most people communicate with me via Facebook now anyway. While I did have a public personal email address on Facebook, anyone I wanted to have it already knows it. If they don’t and want it, they can contact me via Facebook to get it. Though I can see it being an issue if some kind of notification of email received is not being sent to the original personal email address. I’m not a fan of how they implemented the change, but it seems like it really isn’t as big a deal as it appears people are making it out to be.

  • Miguel

    For me, this was the last slap in the face(book)… Join the Facebook break-up party! http://www.silvar.net/blog/social/the-day-i-quit-facebook/

  • Tyron

    Quite sad..Fb should have notified users or should have launched something new which support the change..ELse this Fb Email address is of no use for now…