Facebook secretly deleted messages sent by CEO Mark Zuckerberg as well as other high-level executives, company sources have revealed.
In a statement to TechCrunch, a Facebook spokesperson confirmed they took the unusual step of deleting Zuckerberg’s sent messages from people’s inboxes in the interest of corporate security.
“After Sony Pictures’ emails were hacked in 2014 we made a number of changes to protect our executives’ communications,” the spokesperson said. “These included limiting the retention period for Mark’s messages in Messenger. We did so in full compliance with our legal obligations to preserve messages.”
However, the revelation now poses questions surrounding the company’s breach of users trust, given that other users cannot delete such messages and they never publicly disclosed this decision.
It is also an apparent violation of Facebook’s own terms of service, which do not include Facebook having the right to remove contents from accounts unless there is a violation of their community standards.
Zuckerberg has one of Facebook’s most popular profiles with over 100 million followers, although regular users cannot contact him as they would a normal user.
Facebook is currently facing an internal crisis after the data scandal that rocked the company, leading to a crash in the company’s stock price and many users, advertisers, and celebrities threatening to leave the network.
TechCrunch later reported that Facebook now plans to allow users the ability to retract sent messages, a feature that is already available on their instant messaging service WhatsApp.
On Wednesday, the company also admitted that Facebook Messenger scans photos and links sent by users on its platform in order to search for potential violations of its terms of service.