Facebook shares plummet AGAIN amid fears millions of private messages have been made public

The Daily Mail

  • Yesterday Facebook shares fell 9.1 per cent to $20.79 at the close in New York
  • By 10am (EDT) they had dropped again to $20.39
  • Experts blame the drop on recent rumours that a bug in the site caused private direct messages to be published on public timelines
  • Facebook denies the claim
  • The reports were mainly in the US and France
  • French government summons Facebook Inc chiefs to appear before the country’s data watchdog to explain

Facebook’s shares continued to plummet today amid fears millions of private user messages have been made public.

Since the company went public in May, its share price has dropped by 45 per cent spreading panic across its corporate offices.

Yesterday, its price showed no signs of improving as it fell 9.1 per cent to $20.79 at the close in New York and continued its descent as the exchanges opened this morning.

And by 10am (EDT) today they had dropped again to $20.39.

Falling: Yesterday, Facebook’s share price showed no signs of improving as it fell 9.1 per cent to $20.79 at the close in New York and continued its descent as the exchanges opened this morning. By 10am they had dropped again to $20.39.

Experts blame the drop on recent rumours that a bug in the site caused private direct messages to be published on public timelines, a claim Facebook denies.

Online users have claimed private messages written in 2009 and earlier were today showing up on viewable timelines as messages ‘posted by friends’.

 

The reports were mainly in the US and France, and only appeared to affect some users.

Nonetheless, the French government has taken the allegations seriously and summoned Facebook Inc managers to appear before the country’s data watchdog to explain.

Disappointing: Facebook shares have lost 31pc of their value since the company's IPO last FridayEuphoria: Shares have fallen by nearly half since the firm’s IPO in May

Two ministers said they had intervened after seeing reports that private messages between Facebook users in France had appeared on their ‘Timelines’, which can reach a wide Internet audience.

Metro newspaper reported that a ‘non-systemic’ problem at Facebook had caused certain personal messages, some several years old, to be displayed on the Timelines which serve as a profile page with details selected by the user.

Facebook France denied any breakdown in its security systems and said that while some old data had appeared where it should not have, none of it originated from private messages.

Worry: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was at the centre of a major privacy row today as internet users claimed that private messages were being displayed as public. However, the site said the issue was simply a mistake by users.Worry: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was at the centre of a major privacy row today as internet users claimed that private messages were being displayed as public. However, the site said the issue was simply a mistake by users.

‘A minority of users were worried after seeing messages they thought to be private appearing on their Timelines,’ a spokesman for Facebook France said.

‘Facebook engineers examined the situation and confirmed that the messages in question were old postings, which had previously been visible on the users’ profiles,’ he added.

Announcing the appearance of Facebook bosses in front of the CNIL data privacy agency later, Industry Minister Arnaud Montebourg and Small Businesses Minister Fleur Pellerin called for ‘clear and transparent explanations’ and said the episode demonstrated the need for better data protection.

Meanwhile, one of the web giant’s latest ideas to boost profits appeared to backfire, as privacy advocates blasted a plan to track users’ shopping habits in order to prove that Facebook ads provide value for money.

The company’s shares have fallen in price more or less continuously in the four months since its initial public offering and flotation on the Nasdaq.

But over the weekend the social network took one of its biggest blows yet, after a columnist at Barron’s described it as ‘still too pricey’ and predicted it would fall even further.

Andrew Bary argued that the true value of the share was $15, as it was still struggling to make money from its users and particularly from its apps on mobile devices.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2208416/Facebook-shares-plummet-AGAIN-amid-fears-millions-private-messages-public.html#ixzz27YBmR9BA
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