Facebook Deleted the Sent Messages of Its Top Executives From Other People’s Inboxes

Mark Zuckerberg gestures while onstage
SAN JOSE, CA - APRIL 18: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg delivers the keynote address at Facebook's F8 Developer Conference on April 18, 2017 at McEnery Convention Center in San Jose, California. The conference will explore Facebook's new technology initiatives and products. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Justin Sullivan—Getty Images

While you can only delete Facebook messages in your inbox, Facebook has admitted that its executives have gotten special treatment allowing them to remove their own sent messages from others’ inboxes.

People who have spoken with Facebook CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg have found that old messages from him dating back as far as 2010 have disappeared, TechCrunch reported. The social media site quietly introduced a time-lapse function, similar to Snapchat and exclusive to its executives, which allowed users to automatically delete its sent messages in others’ inboxes, according to the report.

Recent messages from Zuckerberg still appear in people’s inboxes and not all of his old messages are gone, TechCrunch reports, indicating not all of his messages were automatically removed. Now Facebook has released a statement admitting to the reports.

“After Sony Pictures’ emails were hacked in 2014 we made a number of changes to protect our executives’ communications,” a Facebook spokesperson responded. “These included limiting the retention period for Mark’s messages in Messenger. We did so in full compliance with our legal obligations to preserve messages.”

Facebook is already facing mounting pressure over its highly-publicized Cambridge Analytica data breach. On Wednesday, Facebook said that the political consultancy may have obtained the data of 87 million Facebook users, rather than 50 million as previously thought.

The scandal-hit company also recently pressed pause on a plan to combine patients’ medical data with information on them from their social networking activity.

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