November 5, 2017

User claims, Facebook employees Opened a File sent in Private Chat

Is Facebook setting a time limit to monitor the content sent in Facebook Messenger Private Chat? Something strange happened when a  Reddit user with handle name “Cjrobe” tried to send his portfolio to his brother through Facebook Messenger.

Cjrobe is a frequent Facebook user who usually shares links with his Facebook friends. Recently, he made a work portfolio and got the shareable link with permission “anyone with the link can view” from the Google Sheet settings. He then tried to send the link to his brother through Facebook Messenger on his browser but failed to send it and got an error “Sorry, this feature isn’t available right now.” He got the same error when tried a few more times which he had never seen before.


After that, he googled the error and got to know that he was caught in a spam filter and there was a time limit before he could send any links. Later he shared a screenshot of the error and said that the link “was sent to Facebook ’employees’ for them to manually approve it”.

He came to that conclusion because when he went back to his Google Sheets, he saw two anonymous users browsing his sheet with name Anonymous Dinosaur and then checked his chat history to find out that none of the messages were sent and it wasn’t his brother who opened it. He even tried to chat with them but unfortunately, they left the conversation when Cjrobe tried to chat with them.

However, the link was delivered when he tried sending it again to his brother through Facebook Messenger. After this, he concluded that a “time limit” was set for the Facebook moderators to examine the file link before allowing it to deliver or block 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 similar incident happened where a security researcher found that Facebook uses an algorithm to track the user’s would-be messages and sends the metadata to its servers whenever they try to delete it.

Do you think it was the Facebook employees disguised as the anonymous dinosaur in the Google Sheets or it was just a bug?


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