Facebook Attempts to Dispel ‘Contacts’ Rumors

Denies publicly releasing phone numbers

If you’ve recently seen Facebook updates claiming that the site is making members’ phone numbers public, the social network wants you to know that the rumors are false.

Yesterday, many of the site’s users began circulating posts saying, “ALL THE PHONE NUMBERS of your contacts are now on Facebook!… please repost this on your status, so friends can remove their numbers and thus prevent abuse if they do not want them published."

In response, the company posted the following update to the Facebook fan page: “Our Contacts list, formerly called Phonebook, has existed for a long time. The phone numbers listed there were either added by your friends themselves and made visible to you, or you have previously synced your phone contacts with Facebook. Just like on your phone, only you can see these numbers.”

Meredith Chin, a spokeswoman for the social network, told The Wall Street Journal that the Contacts list has been around for a couple of years. She didn’t know what started the latest rumor, adding that the site has taken to its own page to dispel rumors about itself fewer than a dozen times in the past.