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Facebook Says Your Email Is @Facebook 346

Posted by timothy
from the hey-man-that's-not-cool dept.
beaverdownunder writes "Facebook has been silently changing users' default e-mail addresses to their @facebook.com address in a move that Facebook claims was 'to protect users' and to create 'consistency,' but has been blasted by many bloggers and news outlets as 'Facebook's Lame Attempt To Force Its E-Mail Service On You,' and even characterised the move as a Man-In-The-Middle (MITM) attack on users' private correspondence. From the article: 'Many articles characterized the change as a ham-fisted way for Facebook to push its email system, which it first announced in late 2010. At that time the company said its goal was to integrate conversations across multiple channels of communication — text messages, Facebook chat, email, etc. Facebook seemed surprised by the reaction. 'We basically defaulted to show your Facebook address as we rolled this out, just to keep it consistent for everyone,' said Meredith Chin, Facebook's manager of product communications. 'I'm seeing this whole meme around the idea that it's us pushing for people only to use facebook.com addresses,' Chin said. "That was not our intention. We want people to use whatever's easier for them.''"
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Facebook Says Your Email Is @Facebook

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  • by brunes69 (86786) <slashdot@nOsPAm.keirstead.org> on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @08:51AM (#40451193) Homepage

    Just went into my profile to try to remove / disable this POS and you are not even given the option to do so...

    I am so close to closing my Facebook account it is not even funny anymore.

    • by Bill Barth (49178) <`bbarth' `at' `gmail.com'> on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @08:56AM (#40451221)
      You can't get rid of the address, but you can make it so that no one sees it. You can also display to whomever you like whatever address you like. The settings updates you have to make are pretty straightforward.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @09:18AM (#40451475)

        Nobody sees it but everybody knows that given an url https://www.facebook.com/you there is an address at you@facebook.com
        The help reads that mail received by that address goes into facebook's messages. That would be good for spammers. I tried sending a mail to myself, still waiting for it to arrive or bounce.

        • by cpu6502 (1960974) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @11:25AM (#40452827)

          I'm starting to agree on the "leaving" part (or at least stop using). Sure it's fun to reconnect with old classmates, but changing my default address from yahoo.com or gmail.com to facebook's service totally blows.

          What ALSO blows is making me identify pictures when I log-in from non-home computers. How on earth am I supposed to identify which of my 1000 friends is tagged on a Calvin&Hobbes cartoon? For that matter, some of my friends have grown old and changed appearance. I barely recognize them anymore. Basically: I can't login because I keep guessing wrong on the photos. Bullshit facebook. (My username and password should be enough to let me in.)

        • by IamTheRealMike (537420) <mike@plan99.net> on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @11:42AM (#40453079) Homepage

          It's makes little difference for spammers because Facebooks approach to spam filtering is, to put it mildly, "nuke it from space". Mail sent to you that isn't from a friend goes into the "other" section and generates no notifications at all. The only way to even know you have received such a message is to make a habit of going into Messages and manually polling the "other" section to see if there are messages there.

          This is insane. The reason people fought so hard to build strong spam filters that let strangers could mail each other is that the internet is about connecting people, even people who may not already be friends. I am not the type to have histrionics over changes Facebook makes, in fact I don't remember the last time I got really annoyed about a change they made. Far more of my friends care about the forced transition to Timeline than this. But Facebook fucked up email totally, which is why I don't use my @facebook.com address. I'm sure the average Facebook user never corresponds outside their circle of friends, but I have projects and interests that often mean wanting to contact people who don't know me (and vice versa). So it actually matters to me that people can find my email address and use it. Silently changing my settings like this pisses me off, and the absolute bullshit their PR flaks spouted about it just rubs salt in the wound. "Making addresses more consistent" - since when is consistency of domain name a factor in anything? What possible benefit does that have for anyone except them? Ugh. Google+ gets this right, incidentally.

        • by cpu6502 (1960974) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @11:56AM (#40453259)

          ANOTHER annoying thing is facebook keeps redirecting my Tablet to their mobile site. If I type www.facebook.com then THAT'S where I want to go, not m.facebook.

          Facebook's actions are equivalent to when I tell a taxi driver "I want to see Baltimore," and he takes me to smalltown Annapolis instead. The taxi driver should Never take his customer someplace different than what was requested, and neither should a webpage programmer. (But given they are changing our emails from name@yahoo to name@facebook, I guess facebook doesn't care about netiquette.)

      • by guttentag (313541) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @10:17AM (#40452061) Journal

        You can't get rid of the address, but you can make it so that no one sees it. You can also display to whomever you like whatever address you like. The settings updates you have to make are pretty straightforward.

        Sally's Facebook Wall, sometime in 2013

        It's a Boy! David Zuckerberg Stevens joined our family this morning at 6:45 a.m. 7lbs 3oz
        ---
        Sally: OMG! I totally didn't type Zuckerberg! His middle name is Anthony! WTF FaceBook?!
        Judy: Relax! You can't get rid of the Zuckerberg, but you can just not use it in front of others and no one will know, except when you scold, "David Zuckerberg! Take your hand out of that cookie jar this instant!"
        Sally: Who are you?
        Judy: I'm your closest friend. We met when you called Facebook to close your account, and I talked you out of it. And remember when I talked you out of that abortion 8 months ago?
        Sally: Wait, are you FB customer service?
        Judy: We don't like to think of it that way.

      • by Guppy06 (410832) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @10:50AM (#40452373)

        The settings updates you have to make are pretty straightforward.

        Provided you know that you have to make the updates to begin with, what with the lack of any announcement and all...

    • by slyrat (1143997) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @08:57AM (#40451239)

      Just went into my profile to try to remove / disable this POS and you are not even given the option to do so...

      I am so close to closing my Facebook account it is not even funny anymore.

      Join the rest of us that left several months ago because of the increasing number of times that fb thought their views on privacy/settings/defaults was better than yours. At this point I only have a fb id so that I can be invited to events by others. Hopefully some sort of good event system will show up in one of the other social network sites.

    • by pegasustonans (589396) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @08:58AM (#40451249)

      I am so close to closing my Facebook account it is not even funny anymore.

      Just do it.

      I deleted mine over a year ago and haven't missed it for a second.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @08:58AM (#40451257)

      Yes there is: Click "About" on your profile and scroll down to your email address. Click "Edit" to change them. Click on the circle next to your Facebook email address and change its setting to "Hidden From Timeline". Click on the circle next to your other email addresses and change their settings to "Shown On Timeline". Click the Save button at the bottom of the Edit popup (Don't forget this step).

    • by gbjbaanb (229885) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @09:23AM (#40451533)

      from the BBC's article: [bbc.co.uk]

      Users wishing to undo the change can do so by clicking on the "about" link in their profile and then clicking the "edit" button next to their contact information.

      They then need to click make their Facebook email address "hidden from timeline" and then - if they wish - make one or more of their other preferred addresses visible.

      I think that's pretty obvious... by facebook standards.

    • by citizenr (871508) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @09:48AM (#40451797) Homepage

      I am so close to closing my Facebook account it is not even funny anymore.

      No you aren't you sheep, stop fantasizing. You are a slave.

  • Bullpoop (Score:5, Insightful)

    by organgtool (966989) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @08:55AM (#40451207)
    "That was not our intention. We want people to use whatever's easier for them.''

    Whatever's easier for them is to use the e-mail address that they set up as their default before Facebook screwed with their settings. Changing users' settings without their consent is a great way to lose users. I should know, I dumped my Hotmail account for that very reason.
    • by Yvanhoe (564877) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @09:14AM (#40451433) Journal
      I wish they would lose users because of their stupid practice, but I don't think that anyone left on facebook today would leave even if Facebook employees came to pee on their lawn and steal their dog.
      • by History's Coming To (1059484) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @09:32AM (#40451637) Journal
        Facebook is useful in this regard, it's a centralised repository of all the crap that I really can't be bothered by. The only downside is the fact that other (useful) sites slow themselves down by linking to their scripts left right and center.
        • Re:Bullpoop (Score:5, Interesting)

          by contrapunctus (907549) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @09:38AM (#40451691)

          Also I think facebook really helped reduce chain emails (and forwarded jokes) since all the stupid people just go to facebook and share and leave me alone.

          • by TheGratefulNet (143330) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @10:59AM (#40452471)

            cb radio was like that to ham radio, 30 or more years ago. the idiots who could not pass a ham radio code+theory test were left to rot on the cb (citizens band) freq's while the rest of us (yes, I was a ham radio guy a long time ago) were enjoying our band-space, clear of most idiots and 'lids'.

            cb morons pretty much stayed there. and we stayed in our area. and life was good ;)

            fb, myspace and crap like that are magnets for morons (hey, is that a new catch-phrase?). whoever ends up on those services, well, they can enjoy their little world and hopefully will mostly stay out of the grown-up's world.

  • by Will Steinhelm (1822174) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @08:55AM (#40451213)
    Funny how people are always surprised by the reaction they get when they forget to consider others when making decisions
  • Facebook logic (Score:5, Interesting)

    by buchner.johannes (1139593) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @08:56AM (#40451219) Homepage Journal

    'I'm seeing this whole meme around the idea that it's us pushing for people only to use facebook.com addresses,' Chin said. "That was not our intention. We want people to use whatever's easier for them.'

    So we made @facebook easiest.

    To some degree I understand it though. Facebook hacks/bots becoming more and more common place. For 99% of normal users, they don't just have friends as "friends" ... and every one of those potential hack victims can see your email address and potentially harvest it.

    Facebook should be aware by now that users don't like Facebook (the system) forcing some changes onto them, or changing their preferences to something "that is good for you". (See privacy settings, Timeline)

    • Re:Facebook logic (Score:5, Insightful)

      by thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) <(moc.liamg) (ta) (esidarap.cram)> on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @09:25AM (#40451559) Homepage Journal

      Facebook should be aware by now that users don't like Facebook (the system) forcing some changes onto them, or changing their preferences to something "that is good for you". (See privacy settings, Timeline)

      I'd say experience has taught them the exact opposite.

      A forced changes causes a vocal minority to be vocal. A fraction of a percent of the user base might close their accounts, but more likely they just talk about how they're really close to doing it [slashdot.org]. The noise dies down, the vast majority of their active users accept the changes and move on (if they're even aware of them). Facebook wins. A couple months later, rinse and repeat.

  • by Jawnn (445279) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @08:57AM (#40451245)
    "...a move that Facebook claims was 'to protect users' and to create 'consistency,' ... Yeah, right. Same shit, different day. I guess the amazing part is that they expect their lies to be believed.
    • by localman57 (1340533) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @09:21AM (#40451505)

      I guess the amazing part is that they expect their lies to be believed.

      I don't think they expect you to believe it...Just tollerate it. Facebook basically assumes that if they piss you off in small enough increments, that only like 10% of people are actively considering quitting at any given time, they can be successful, because the 90% provide enough gravity to pull you back in. But there's a tipping point, and studies show that there really is a disproportionate amount of gravity around "cool kids", the most social people in your family, and other social people who act like "hubs". When these people move, they tend to pull others with them.

      The point of this is that FB is not a stock to have in your portfolio. Because they rely on being cool in order to continue to make money. But making more money than they currently make requires doing increasingly uncool things.

      • by DerekLyons (302214) <fairwater&gmail,com> on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @01:24PM (#40454545) Homepage

        Because they rely on being cool in order to continue to make money.

        So sayeth the Slashdot demographic as they stand in the cold and stare hungrily at the "cool kids" through the window.
         
        But it's bullshit. Facebook stopped being about cool years ago, and it continues to pull huge traffic and hold onto enormous numbers of users. Why? Because it's not about being cool - it's about being useful, and they've pretty much mastered that.

  • by Trip6 (1184883) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @08:58AM (#40451255)

    How long before FB is hated and flamed as much as MS and Apple on /.?

  • by Monoman (8745) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @09:01AM (#40451291) Homepage

    "Your Facebook email is based on your public username. Email sent to this address goes to Facebook messages."

    http://www.facebook.com/help/?faq=224049364288051 [facebook.com]

    So if I didn't want a public email address on my FB profile then why would I want one now?

    • by BetterThanCaesar (625636) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @09:26AM (#40451567)

      Your Facebook email is based on your public username.

      What this also means is that if you have someone's "public username", you don't need to see their profile to learn their email address. You can get the public username from any search or friend list, concatenate "@facebook.com" to it and start spamming.

      • by Ciccio87 (2101982) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @10:05AM (#40451951)

        Your Facebook email is based on your public username.

        What this also means is that if you have someone's "public username", you don't need to see their profile to learn their email address. You can get the public username from any search or friend list, concatenate "@facebook.com" to it and start spamming.

        Exactly, so, bring on not only the spam, but also fakemails / spear phishing

  • by JasterBobaMereel (1102861) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @09:02AM (#40451297)

    My primary email is hidden, and a junk dump address anyway

    If anyone sends mail to my @facebook address it be ignored ... I have no idea how to even look at this!

    Facebook has posting, direct messages, and chat why would I want an email?

  • by blackest_k (761565) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @09:02AM (#40451299) Homepage Journal

    Seriously
    A facebook email address says one thing about you , you use facebook. So when your boss see's it and sticks in a friend request how do you tactfully say never in a million years.

    There has to be a good number of people that you don't really want accessing your facebook page for one reason or another at least you can deny being on facebook if your privacy settings are set secure enough.

  • by buk110 (904868) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @09:04AM (#40451329)
    And how many people threaten to quit are two entirely different things. Unfortunately many people won't even notice these changes let alone care
  • by vlm (69642) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @09:04AM (#40451333)

    slashdot should have email aliases.
    I imagine anonymous.coward@slashdot.org would be a pretty popular registration at paywalls. Maybe it already is.

  • Deleted (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mfh (56) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @09:06AM (#40451349) Journal

    Now that I've been off Facebook for a long time, whenever I see friends we actually have something to talk about, because I have no clue as to what's been going on with them. It's brilliant!

    Try it! :)

  • Likes = Adverts (Score:5, Informative)

    by Harold Halloway (1047486) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @09:06AM (#40451351)

    I hadn't noticed this but in the last week or so I've noticed the appearance of ads masquerading as 'likes'. I'm getting all sorts of shit in my newsfeed on a regular (i.e. daily basis.) FaceBitch is definitely going out of its way to piss off users. Thank goodness for Social Fixer.

  • by DaneM (810927) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @09:08AM (#40451365)

    I just checked my own Facebook info page and discovered that while my gmail address was still "Friends/not shown on timeline," my new Facebook address is "Friends/shown on timeline." Depending on exactly is meant by that last bit, it could explain why I'm suddenly getting about double the spam in my Gmail account that I was getting a month ago. (I get email notifications from Facebook sent to me Gmail account, as I suspect most people do.) Thank goodness for good spam filters...

    There's a good reason why I ratchet-down my email address' availability on web pages, and apparently Facebook isn't nearly so concerned (which, of course, comes as no great surprise). I'd be curious to know if someone whose normal address is set to "hidden" now has a non-hidden Facebook address.

    Also, the line, "We want people to use whatever's easier for them" has a somewhat different meaning when you're actively making it easier for those looking at a user's info page to see the @facebook address, rather than the one the user intentionally put there. Either the staff is oblivious, or they're being dishonest about their intentions. (Not sure, given their track record with privacy and such...)

  • by Cro Magnon (467622) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @09:10AM (#40451385) Homepage Journal

    I'd rather have the FB crap go to a spambox rather than my real email.

  • by rossdee (243626) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @09:13AM (#40451411)

    I don't have a Facebook acct and don't intend to get one. However it seems that these days the only way to send feedback to TV shows, politicians and other celebrities is to "Like" them on Facebook (and follow them on Twitter).

    How can I send an ordinary email to these people?

    • by Overzeetop (214511) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @09:45AM (#40451771) Journal

      Look up their page on Google? Seriously, everyone who is interested in your feedback has an email address. If they are only asking you for "Likes" and feedback on their Facebook profile page, and follow them on Twitter, they are asking you to be a co-marketer for them and nothing else.

      I don't know why your wrapped around the axle about not having a FB page for communication if you should need it. You're here on slashdot which, in the words of John Bender, is "sorta social, demented and sad, but social." Go make a profile with your throwaway gmail address (I used the one I use for /. and other online forums), use John Rossdee as your name, and pick a celebrity picture off of Google Images for your profile pic. Done. Now you can reply to all those pages you seem desperate to become part of.

      I've had people find the real me off my forum handle, but it's rare and requires actual, targeted effort. It's not that hard, though I think it's only happened twice in over a decade.

  • by sjwest (948274) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @09:13AM (#40451417)

    So perhaps when then fb think im a bit dumb since i dont use there site (four years) they will tell me how to rejoin on there email thing (that i dont have access to) rather than to the email i use. I'm good with that foolery.

  • by atomicxblue (1077017) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @09:14AM (#40451431)
    A better way to have handled this would be to send an email to everyone on the site and remind, or in some cases inform, them they have a @facebook.com email address that they can use and display on the site, with a way to display this if they so wish.

    Facebook has shown, however, that they have no respect for basic privacy. There are many people that should never have a way to contact us. I wonder how long this will last now that sexual predators will have a way to contact children using this email address without even having to show up on their friends list first.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @09:19AM (#40451483)

    they are essentially reverting the internet back to what it was in the mid-90's.

  • by slashmydots (2189826) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @09:19AM (#40451485)
    "That was not our intention. We want people to use whatever's easier for them.'' -- BULLSHIT! They want to control and read as many people's e-mails as possible so they can show them relevant ads and make money. More people, more money, the end. What exactly do they think such an unbelievable lie will accomplish? Ironic, considering Mark Z is all about openness.
  • by fa2k (881632) <pmbjornstad@NOspam.gmail.com> on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @09:20AM (#40451491)

    I'm surprised Facebook still requires an email to sign up. Seems like they really want to replace all open and closed internet communications protocols (except VoiP and games). I give it about two years before most consumers no longer have e-mail addresses. I don't really like it, but SMTP seems like a perfect target for the likes of Facebook and Google to replace, because it's so open, valuable and a bit clumsy/anachronistic.

  • by trnk (1887028) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @09:23AM (#40451527)
    I suspect this is less about trying to get everyone using Facebook for their email and more about usurping any third party apps that will automatically sync with Facebook contacts (iOS 6 anyone?). All you're going to get now is a load of garbage contacts.
  • by realsilly (186931) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @09:24AM (#40451537)

    The entire purpose around user settings is to allow users to display what they want and to see what they want. So that means DON'T FUCK WITH MY SETTINGS. That means with every update don't check boxes that I didn't have checked before, don't force me to accept a change that gives me no way to say "No Thank You"

    And the fact that Facebook was not prepared for the reaction it received is a bold-faced lie. If they didn't expect this reaction, it would not have be implemented so quietly. Facebook knew there would be controversy, again, thus the hush-hush.

    On the other hand, Facebook is free to use, so it is in Facebook's interest to change the email address extension. If you were paying for your Facebook account do you really think there would be as many people on the site? Nope. So sadly, you're getting what your pay for, no fees, no freedom no privacy.

    If you don't like the TOS, leave Facebook.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @09:31AM (#40451621)

    Facebook has put me face-to-face with the fact that my online "friends" all suck. Almost all of my network turns out to be people I knew in high school and haven't talked to in 20 years, half of them are religious or political nuts, and none of them are really my "friends". My real friends don't use Facebook.

    Facebook is a fad. It's going to be a very long-lived fad, which is fine. But it's hard to see them as anything other than a clearinghouse for data that isn't worth distributing any other way. I do not care about what happened to you today in MobWars.

  • Bullshit (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Bob9113 (14996) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @09:39AM (#40451709) Homepage

    'I'm seeing this whole meme around the idea that it's us pushing for people only to use facebook.com addresses,' Chin said, 'That was not our intention.'

    Ahem;

    Bullshit.

    That is all.

  • It's easy to spoof (Score:5, Interesting)

    by tmshort (1097127) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @10:51AM (#40452377)

    I didn't have any email addresses under my "About". Facebook didn't change my email addresses, it added the @facebook.com one to my About page. I was able to hide it, but you won't be able to get rid of it.

    You can easily spoof FB messages to people using an unsecured SMTP server. I tried sending myself a message from my wife (not knowing my wife's FB or email passwords), and it worked; it looked as though the message were from her! Since there's no email headers to evaluate, you can't tell where it really came from. There is a little icon indicating that it is "Unable to confirm X as the sender." But it still shows up with her FB profile picture and full name (which I didn't provide in the email).

    • by lewiscr (3314) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @02:34PM (#40455779) Homepage

      Email has never been secure. It is very similar to postal mail; you can write whatever return address on the envelop that you want.

      Yes, there have been some suggestions lately to improve this. The postal equivalent of comparing the return address's zipcode and the originating post fffice's zipcode, and marking that ones that don't match as "likely spam". It's not ubiquitous, and it's just extra points in the spam scoring.

  • by swb (14022) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @10:52AM (#40452397)

    I know that was "only a movie" and "facts were changed" make it more dramatic, but why do I get the sinking feeling that between the constant changes to privacy settings, the shady, over-valued IPO that the basic leitmotif of the movie -- that Zuckerberg is a morally deficient opportunist -- is the basic leitmotif of the entire operation?

    There seems to be nothing about Facebook and the way it is run that is honest or straightforward. I read the article on the NY Times this morning and the naked, unapologetic dishonesty on display was fairly breathtaking although totally and completely expected.

    I can't say I will stop using the site, but I've always been reluctant to put much "serious" information in my profile. Most of it is silly (Religion: "I believe I'll have another") and I regularly check my privacy settings to see what has been unset.

    Although lately it seems that people use it less for even meaningful textual communication -- it's just reposting dumb jpeg humor and I find myself using it less and less. More changes like this and I might just decide to jettison it completely.

  • by shadowrat (1069614) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @11:25AM (#40452835)
    Facebook can't change my email. They can't take over my DNS and reroute my mx records. All they can do is set up some address and collect junk on their servers.I don't even care what people looking at facebook think my email is. Honestly, i'd guess that 99.9% of the time if someone is using facebook to contact me, it's not going to be through email. As far as i'm concerned, this seems like a nice feature. keep facebook messaging routed to this honey pot they've set up on my behalf. Maybe they can set up a phone number for me too.
  • I noticed this the other day. I sync my phone with facebook for many of my contacts. Now I have an address book full of bogus email addresses where they were correct before.

  • Now every time they turn email notifications back on that I don't want, it won't go to one of the email addresses I ever check... (It was already linked to my 'spam attractor' email that I only check once a week.)

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