Facebook has apparently changed the default email address that appears on user accounts.
Many have heard at one time or another sayings like, “you can’t please everyone”, or “can’t win no matter how hard you try”, or something to that effect. It seems that Facebook has been caught up in a similar mantra again. Recently Facebook has changed the default email address that appears on a user’s timeline to email@example.com, and of course this is generating some controversy.
One side of the fence is saying that Facebook is forcing their email upon its users, and there may be some truth to this as people who want a specific address displayed for contact reasons would have that address changed without their knowledge. But since messages to your Facebook email address end up displaying as messages on your Facebook page, you would surely notice this, and check your account settings to find out why. Under the “Contact Info” on your timeline, you can see the displayed email address for your account and make changes to it simply by clicking the “Edit” button.
However there is another way to look at this change, and it has benefit for new users, or folks that are simply not as computer savvy as others; it helps to keep your actual email address private. When a person first signs up at Facebook they have to provide an email address, but they might not want that address made public to everyone they know on the service. If a person forgets to make the change because they are concerned with other security settings or they are simply in a hurry to use Facebook, this selection may get overlooked. By having it default to a Facebook email address, this is no longer a concern for a subscriber.
And let us not forget that Facebook owns the service, they reserve rights to make changes as stated their terms of service, and this really is not that different from any other business. Let’s say you bought a new car from a dealership two years ago, and since that time they have expanded, adding new phone numbers and changing hours. They don’t send out mass mailings to every person who has ever bought at car from them that they have changed something, but as soon as you call the number you are familiar with for the service department, and you are instead connected to an automated answering system, you know something has changed.
It probably would have been a good idea for Facebook to alert users that this change was going to be made, but then again how many people really pay attention to alerts? Besides a user is in essence getting an alert when new messages start appearing on their Facebook page from external email addresses. This may be a minor inconvenience to have to change the address back, but why knock Facebook for trying to keep users personal email addresses private?
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