Facebook now updates itself with the the strangest feature possible i.e. years old Messenger threads resurfacing automatically, without much context or explanation. Initially, reported by users on Twitter, Facebook finally confirms that older messages are being treated as new, unread ones and popping up in the Messenger tab on Facebook.com.
To this a Facebook spokesperson added that, “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. We apologize for the inconvenience.”
Some has in fact expressed concern that the bug could resurface conversations or past histories they would much rather forget. Unless users actively delete the history between him/her and another user, Messenger retains the entirety of back-and-forth conversations, stretching back years. This might include, to be hit with an old thread with an ex or a family member or friend who has passed.
However, this ain’t the first time something like this has happened by accident. Back in 2015, Facebook started resurfacing not so good memories for people using its ‘On This Day’ callback feature. That’s because the underlying mechanism 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 measured it.
However this time it seems that there’s an issue with code rather than a strategic failure of human understanding. Also, to be frank, 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. On the contrary, the fact 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 personal lives, and its stewardship of that data has been a topic of constant criticism this year.
Facebook later also added that, it had resolved the issue, which it attributes to software updates. To this it said, “Earlier today, some people may have experienced Facebook re-sending older messages. The issue, caused by software updates, has been fully resolved. We’re sorry for any inconvenience”.