Facebook glitch exposes chat messages

May 07, 2010
SAN FRANCISCO (AFP) - – Facebook temporarily shut down its online chat feature after a software glitch let people's friends in the online community see each others' private chat messages.

For a "limited period of time" chat messages and pending friend requests could be made visible to friends, according to Facebook.

For peeks at the usually walled-off information Facebook users had to manipulate a "preview my profile" feature in a particular way, according to Facebook.

"When we received reports of the problem, our engineers promptly diagnosed it and temporarily disabled the chat function," a Facebook spokesman said in an email response to an AFP inquiry.

"We also pushed out a fix to take care of the visible friend requests."

Chat was back in action for most Facebook users by 1900 GMT on Wednesday.

The software glitch struck as the world's top online social-networking service is increasingly scrutinized regarding the privacy of its users.

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