Saturday, September 8, 2012

Facebook’s Other messages folder: How Facebook may be hiding important messages you sent or received

Last week I discovered another sneaky thing Facebook did without telling us.  They gave us a spam folder called “Others” and promptly hid it from us.  Here’s how to find it:  Go to your home page.  Look at the left side.  You should see the following listed:

News Feed
Followed by various favorite links

Now click on Messages and you’ll see a link for Other.  Click on that – and you’ll probably see a huge list of messages you never had a chance to read.

I discovered a few spam messages, but most of them were notes from pages I had liked, or messages about events I was invited to, or messages from strangers who had something important to say to me.  For instance, several months ago I posted on a couple of fan pages, asking for comments from people for an article I was writing for Iditablog.  I discovered five responses that I’d never had a chance to read. It’s too late now to include those in my article.

Mine were fairly innocuous, but other people have missed very important messages, such as job offers, prize winnings or notes from long-lost relatives. My husband discovered a note from someone who turned out to be a cousin living in Sweden he had never met.  Fortunately he discovered it in a reasonable amount of time and was able to respond, but others haven’t been so lucky.  One blogger wrote about how she lost a brand-new laptop, waited a week without hearing anything (or so she thought), and finally bought a new one.  Months later she discovered messages in her Other folder from the person who found her laptop. 

Now that I know how to find the Other folder, I check it often and I shouldn’t lose any more messages.  But what worries me is the messages I try to send. It’s sad that a social media site has taken over our social lives, especially a social media site that hides things from us and makes changes in an underhanded way.

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