Mark Zuckerberg
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has been permanently deleting messages in secret. Reuters/Stephen Lam

Facebook doesn’t have a feature that allows users to unsend messages, but for some reason CEO Mark Zuckerberg has been allowed to permanently delete messages in secret. Now that Zuckerberg’s secret is exposed, the social media giant is planning to appease users by rolling out an unsend feature to its platform.

TechCrunch recently reported that three unnamed sources have come forward to reveal that Zuckerberg appears to have access to a feature that permanently deletes sent messages. The sources said the messages they received from the CEO disappeared from their inboxes, but their replies to him remained.

When the outlet reached out to Facebook, the company issued a statement saying, “After Sony Pictures’ emails were hacked in 2014 we made a number of changes to protect our executives’ communications. 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.”

Though Facebook has now justified the incident, it’s still a bit questionable why the firm never publicly disclosed this before. It also neglected to inform the recipients why Zuckerberg’s messages were permanently deleted from their inboxes.

Other sources have since corroborated the story, saying their correspondence with Zuckerberg looked one-sided because the latter’s responses were nowhere to be found. Hence, many users are now calling out Facebook for allegedly breaching its users’ trust.

Facebook has now announced that it will roll out an unsend feature for Facebook messages soon. It did not give a specific date, but it did say that users can expect the feature to arrive in the next several months. In addition, it has vowed to disallow Zuckerberg from using the feature until it rolls out to everyone.

A Facebook spokesperson has issued a statement to TechCrunch, apologizing for not publicly disclosing the unsend feature sooner. “We have discussed this feature several times. And people using our secret message feature in the encrypted version of Messenger have the ability to set a timer — and have their messages automatically deleted. We will now be making a broader delete message feature available.”

The statement continued, “This may take some time. And until this feature is ready, we will no longer be deleting any executives’ messages. We should have done this sooner — and we’re sorry that we did not.”

The revelation comes at a time when Facebook is still suffering the consequences of the Cambridge Analytica scandal. The company is still under multiple investigations, according to The Verge.

Amid the scandal, Facebook has reportedly postponed the unveiling of its smart speakers. It has also rolled out updates and new features to improve the security of its users’ data. Earlier this week, it detailed its plans of restricting data access of third-party apps.