Imagine getting a notification from Messenger or the Facebook webpage on the desktop, but when you look at the message, it was sent two, three, even four years ago. That is what some Facebook users are reporting. There is this one guy who got a ‘new’ message from his partner who had passed one year ago.
No doubt this ‘new’ messages from the past are sending users on an emotional roller coaster, especially if the sender is someone they had since fallen apart with or passed away. Facebook has since come out to acknowledge the problem as being caused by a bug in their system.
I am not sure what is happening with Facebook and old messages popping up as new ones, but it gets really ridiculous being confronted with some of the chats from couple of years ago.
— Ilija Jerković (@ilijajerkovic) November 26, 2018
Thank you @facebook for sending me notifications of messages sent over a year old. Many were from the day my partner, Dean, passed away & now I’ve spent my evening in fear of what else I’m going to see.
— Adam (@adamadzp) November 26, 2018
Old Facebook messages popping up from years ago. Temporary security scare turned cringefest.
— Leslie Waghorn (@lawaghorn) November 26, 2018
“Some people are seeing older messages on Facebook.com. We are aware of the issue and are actively working to resolve it in as soon as possible… We apologize for the inconvenience,” said a spokesperson from Facebook while addressing a section of the media.
Some users took to rival social network platform Twitter, to complain about the issue. Some expressing fear that Facebook will re-surface messages from the past that they would rather completely forget.
Same thing happened back in 2015
This is not the first time users on Facebook are getting haunted by messages from the past. In 2015, a similar incident happened, but it was on the ‘On This Day’ callback feature. The issue then was a bug in the ‘On This Day’ algorithm, which failed to distinguish between celebratory, cheerful posts, for which it was designed, with posts of tragedy, unhappy moments.
However, this time around, the issue seems to be a problem with the code itself, rather a catastrophic human understanding failure. The users now complaining about the bug seem to acknowledge that the problem seems to be random, but it doesn’t make the situation any better. There are some users, whose random messages from the back invoked painful memories.
The social network sent out the following message after resolving the issue: “Earlier today, some people may have experienced Facebook resending older messages. The issue, caused by software updates, has been fully resolved. We’re sorry for any inconvenience.”