User claims Facebook employees went through his file sent in private chat

It is a well-known fact that Facebook, the social media giant has access to user data since it’s part of their advertising and marketing policies. But how do they collect this data or keep an eye on it? Well, it seems like it’s done both automatically using algorithm and manually in which Facebook moderators get their hands on the data.

Recently, a Reddit user going by the handle of “Cjrobe” noticed something rather strange when he sent a Google Sheet link containing work portfolio to his brother through Facebook Messenger on his web browser. Cjrobe who has been using Facebook for years often shared files and links with his brother without any issue until now. 

It all started when Cjrobe sent a Google Sheet link to his brother with “anyone with the link can view” permission but rather than the link getting delivered to the receiver it displayed an error “Sorry, this feature isn’t available right now.” 

After some time, Cjrobe tried to send the link again, but the result was the same. A screenshot shared by Cjrobe shows Facebook marked the link as spam and blocked him from sending to his brother and blocked him from sending any link for a while.

Facebook Employees Caught Going Through user file sent in private chat
Screenshot shared by Cjrobe (Credit: Reddit)

But Cjrobe claims that the time limit was put because the link was sent to Facebook “employees” to manually check, scan and approve it and he has proof of it. Since the file was set to “anyone with the link can view” permission it allowed him to track who is viewing the file.

Upon checking, he found two anonymous users browsing his sheet. He then checked his chat history to see just in case the file link was delivered to his brother and it might be him viewing the file but it turned out none of the messages went through, and his brother never opened the file. 

Facebook Employees Caught Going Through user file sent in private chat
Screenshot shared by Cjrobe (Credit: Reddit)

Cjrobe then tried to chat with the users but all in vain as they went off straight away. However, when he tried to send the link to his brother again through Facebook Messenger, it worked which means the “time limit” was for Facebook moderators to scan the link before allowing or blocking it permanently.

“I went back to my Google Sheets and saw TWO anonymous users browsing my sheet. Screenshot. I went back and double checked my chat history, and none of the messages went through, and my brother hadn’t opened it. I tried chatting with them, but they left pretty fast. After this, I sent the link to my brother again… and it worked. I guess the “time limit” had passed,” Cjrobe wrote on Reddit.

In 2015 a security researcher also discovered that Facebook sends ‘nonposts’ to its servers and Facebook monitors everything a user type even if they decide not to publish their post

So what do you think? Is Cjrobe right about Facebook employees reading what was in the link he sent or was it just a “bug.”?

Waqas

Waqas Amir is a Milan-based cybersecurity journalist with a passion for covering latest happenings in cyber security and tech world. In addition to being the founder of this website, Waqas is also into gaming, reading and investigative journalism.