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Facebook to investigate problems with email sync

Facebook said on Monday that it was investigating reports that its recent email change also altered email addresses within a user's contact list.

"Regarding the syncing issue, we're having the engineers look into it and will get back to you as soon as we can with more details," a Facebook spokesman said in a statement.

At issue is a recent update that switched the email address listed by Facebook users on their Timelines to an address by default. The change was made without notice and had to be manually changed if a user wanted to return to having their personal or work email listed instead.

It appears, however, that the change had one other undesirable effect.

CNET on Saturday pointed to a personal blog post from Adobe employee Rachel Luxemburg in which she noted that the email had been pushed to contact lists as well.

"Today, a co-worker discovered that his contact info for me had been silently updated to overwrite my work email address with my Facebook email address," Luxemburg wrote. "He discovered this only after sending work emails to the wrong address."

Messages sent to a email address reportedly show up in your Facebook inbox. But Luxemburg said her "emails are not actually in my Facebook messages. I checked. They've vanished into the ether."

In a statement, the Facebook spokesman said the "email loss" experienced by some users might "just be confusion around the Messages Inbox," and suggested people check their "Other" inbox.

"By default, messages from friends or friends of friends go into your Inbox. Everything else goes to your Other folder. (If you click on Messages in your left hand navigation menu, you'll see below it an Other folder that drops down)," he wrote. "That is likely where the messages are being sent from other people's emails. Even if that person is friends with them on Facebook, if the friend doesn't have that email on their Facebook account, the message could end up in the Other folder."

Indeed, a "test" message I sent to myself last week did not show up in my Facebook inbox, prompting me to conclude that it too had been lost. But I checked the "Other" folder this morning and there it was. If a tech writer and an Adobe employee had difficulty finding those messages, though, I imagine the average Facebook user would also miss those emails and think them lost.