On Facebook Messenger

I’ve recently discovered a flaw in the way Facebook Messenger works.The flaw allows someone who isn’t a member of a specific group chat to view the entire conversation history, including photographs.

What happened was someone who I didn’t know from somewhere on Facebook added me to a group conversation, said a couple of messages, then removed me from it. Presumably, I was simply mistaken for this person’s friend that they actually wanted to contact, and realising their mistake, they removed me from the conversation practically immediately.

Only after all of that had occurred did I pick up my phone to respond to notifications from Messenger. There I discovered that the above had taken place; I had been invited to a conversation and then removed. Wondering if I knew any of these people, I opened the conversation to find out why I had been added. I saw the timestamp at which I was invited, the messages following the invitation, and the timestamp at which I was removed.

I also saw every single message sent prior to my invitation. This presumably is an ill-thought out convenience feature from Facebook, a few lines of code entered without much thought.

Trying to contain my disbelief, I scrolled the conversation back and back. This couldn’t be real, could it? I must know someone in this thread.

But I didn’t. I ended up seeing a long winding conversation between eight people trying to organise a sun, sea, and sand getaway.

I also saw all of the photos that had been posted as well. Some of them were quite… intimate. I quickly left; this conversation was clearly one I shouldn’t be privy to.

So, just because someone mis-clicked on a name in an app, huge swathes of personal detail was laid bare for me to see. Clearly Facebook needs to up it’s already questionable privacy game.