Facebook users are announcing one of the more odd bugs to torment the stage generally: years-old Messenger strings reemerging naturally, without setting or clarification. First revealed by clients on Twitter, the organization presently affirms that more established messages are being treated as new, new ones and springing up in the Messenger tab on Facebook.com.
“Some people are seeing older messages on Facebook.com. We are aware of the issue and are actively working to resolve it in as soon as possible,” a Facebook spokesperson tells The Verge. “We apologize for the inconvenience.”
Some have communicated worry that the bug could reemerge discussions or previous narratives they would much rather overlook. Except if you effectively erase the history among you and another client, Messenger holds the aggregate of your forward and backward discussions, extending back years. It could be bumping to some to be hit with an old string with an ex or a relative or companion who has passed.
Old Facebook messages popping up from years ago. Temporary security scare turned cringefest.
Thank you @facebook for sending me notifications of messages sent over a year old. Many were from the day my partner, Dean, passed away & now I’ve spent my evening in fear of what else I’m going to see.
This isn’t the first time something like this has happened by accident. Back in 2015, Facebook notoriously began resurfacing painful memories for people using its On This Day callback feature. That’s because the underlying algorithm didn’t seem to know how to differentiate between the celebratory, cheerful posts it was designed to resurface and those about tragedy that often generate as much, if not more, “engagement,” as Facebook measures it.
Although this time, it looks more like an issue with code rather than a strategic failure of human understanding. And, to be fair, the vast majority of people complaining about the bug just seem to be treating it as a random and quizzical oddity of the social network that nobody can explain right now. Yet knowing that others are being haunted by painful memories is a good reminder that Facebook is responsible for a vast amount of online identifies and the details of our personal lives, and its stewardship of that data has come under near constant criticism this year.
Later on in the evening, Facebook said it had resolved the issue, which it attributes to software updates. “Earlier today, some people may have experienced Facebook resending older messages. The issue, caused by software updates, has been fully resolved. We’re sorry for any inconvenience,” a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement to The Verge.