Aside from the recently increased estimate of users affected by the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Facebook is also facing renewed scrutiny over its messaging app. That’s according to TechCrunch, which reports that multiple sources who had previously received private correspondence from CEO Mark Zuckerberg via Facebook Messenger can no longer find said messages. In other words, it appears as if the company has been secretly deleting Zuckerberg’s private messages — a feature that is not available to other Facebook Messenger users.
As TechCrunch explains it, Facebook Messenger users “can only delete messages their own inboxes,” as any messages sent will “still show up in the recipient’s thread.” However, it seems that Zuckberg received special treatment for reasons that were not publicly disclosed until their report confirmed it. When reached for comment, Facebook acknowledged the deletion of some of Zuckerberg’s private messages by citing the 2014 Sony email hack:
After Sony Pictures’ emails were hacked in 2014 we made a number of changes to protect our executives’ communications. 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.
However, the company spokesperson did not specify which particular messages of Zuckerberg’s had been deleted. Nor did they identify which other Facebook executives had had their private communications scrubbed from the Messenger app. Even so, that the company did wipe some of Zuckerberg and other company officials’ messages while neither making the same feature available to users, nor publicly revealing the deletions until pressed by TechCrunch, doesn’t look so great in light of the Cambridge Analytica scandal (among other things).