Facebook: email and contacts bug to be fixed

Over the weekend, some Facebook users discovered that not only did the company force new @facebook.com email addresses on them earlier this week, they also got hit with having Facebook change and overwrite their contacts' email addresses to the new @facebook.com address. This caused some Facebook users to lose some emails.

Now, according to an article on The Verge, Facebook says that the overwriting of the email contacts was in fact a contact sync API bug. The issue just happened to occur around the same time Facebook decided to make its @Facebook.com email changes.

According to a statement from Facebook:

Contact synchronization on devices is performed through an API. For most devices, we've verified that the API is working correctly and pulling the primary email address associated with the users' Facebook account. However, for people on certain devices, a bug meant that the device was pulling the last email address added to the account rather than the primary email address, resulting in @facebook.com addresses being pulled. We are in the process of fixing this issue and it will be resolved soon. After that, those specific devices should pull the correct addresses.

While this bug will fix the problem with some users' contacts being rewritten, there's still no change to Facebook's original decision to make the @facebook.com address the only viable one on your account, unless you make the effort to make your other email addresses visible.

Source: The Verge

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5 Comments

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FalseAgent said,
I can't believe people actually rely on Facebook for contact information....

Why wouldn't they? As long as you don't have annoying Facebook friends who think it's funny to play with their personal info all the time, Facebook seems like a perfect place to get people's details from, because that's pretty much *exactly* what it's for.

techbeck said,
Read this earlier...glad I never sync my contacts with FB.

What's the major damage here really? I mean do people seriously just use facebook sync for contacts?

I have my friend contacts on my live account (numbers, address, email etc.), business contacts on exchange and then the only real job of facebook sync is to add the pictures to the contacts (does this automatically when names match, and I manually join the rest).

There are simply too many people with incomplete contact details on facebook to rely on this anyway, at least with my FB contacts anyway.

Ive just checked and its simply added another email address to the contacts, the @facebook.com address. No harm.

I simply couldn't put my trust in facebook to manage my contacts.

duddit2 said,

What's the major damage here really? I mean do people seriously just use facebook sync for contacts?

[. . .]

There are simply too many people with incomplete contact details on facebook to rely on this anyway, at least with my FB contacts anyway.

[. . .]

I simply couldn't put my trust in facebook to manage my contacts.


Most people I know now use Facebook to share their contact information with their friends and acquaintances; they may use other services, but they'll all use different services along with Facebook, so getting the data from Facebook means I get most of my acquaintances' information instead of the information of just some of them.

Whether they use Facebook or not, Facebook is the only other service I use nowadays, apart from Windows Live sometimes (which most of my friends and acquaintances don't use), so I wouldn't be able to get their details from other services anyway. Facebook is my favourite service, I use it a tremendous amount, and I use it for everything else I can, so it makes sense for me to use it to pull my contacts' details, considering that is the place most of them share their details.

I don't directly add friends to Windows Live anymore, so every contact in my phone is from either Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter. The only time Windows Live has come into play is when a friend or someone I've met hasn't shared their number on Facebook; however, all I do then is edit the Windows Live contact that is linked to their Facebook account, so it isn't a case of adding that contact to Windows Live directly, and the rest of their information will still be synced via Facebook.

When I meet someone nowadays, rather than sharing numbers, we tend to add each other to Facebook and message via that (at least to begin with). I say 'tend' but that is what has always happened with me, so far, for the past few years.

When/if I get an iPhone as my next phone, I imagine the case will be the same--I don't expect to directly add contacts to the native contact service, only update the contacts that are linked to Facebook.

I suspect there are quite a few other people whose situations are the same as mine, no matter what phone operating system they use.

Facebook just seems to be the only viable method for syncing contact information nowadays, at least with regard to my friends and acquaintances.

I can understand that one might not use Facebook for business contacts, but as I don't tend to have business contacts on my phone, in my current position, I'm not sure how I would deal with that. It's possible that most, if not all, business contacts would be connected with me via LinkedIn in this day and age, and if that's the case, my Windows Phone would pull their data from LinkedIn instead of Facebook.

Edited by Calum, Jul 3 2012, 11:30am :