Facebook Messenger Missing Shared Files Glitch Reminds Us That Social Media Is Not Ideal for File Storage

If you're one of the millions of people who use Facebook Messenger to chat and share files with friends, you might have noticed something odd today, May 4, 2023.

Some files and photos that you shared on the messaging app have disappeared without warning. You're not alone. Many users have reported similar problems on social media, forums, and chat groups. What's going on?

Facebook Messenger Missing Shared Files
Some of my friends on Facebook told me that they started to notice the "missing shared files" issue on Messenger a bit past lunchtime this afternoon.

As of 5:58 PM today (Manila Time), Facebook's parent company Meta has yet to release an official statement about this glitch. Hence, we don't really know if FB is working to restore the missing data and it's also not clear if all files can be recovered or how long the process will take.

This incident serves as a reminder that social media platforms are not the most reliable or secure way to store important files, documents, or photos. While Messenger and other messaging apps can be convenient for sharing quick messages and media with friends or colleagues, they should not be your primary or sole means of file storage. Here's why:

Social media platforms are not designed for file storage: Facebook and other social media sites are primarily designed for social networking, not file storage or backup. They may have limitations on file size, type, or duration, and they may compress, resize, or modify your files without your knowledge or consent. They may also be subject to outages, data breaches, or other security risks that could compromise your data.

Social media platforms are not private or secure: While most messaging apps use encryption to protect your messages in transit, they may not offer end-to-end encryption or other strong security measures to protect your files at rest. They may also be vulnerable to hacking, phishing, or malware attacks that can steal your login credentials, access your files, or spread malware to your contacts.

Social media platforms may change their policies or features: Social media sites are known for changing their terms of service, privacy policies, or features without warning or user consent. They may also impose fees, ads, or other restrictions on their services that could affect your ability to access or share your files.

So what should you do instead? The best way to store, backup, and share files is to use dedicated file storage or cloud services that are designed for that purpose. Here are some options:

Email: Most email services, such as Gmail, Yahoo, or Outlook, offer generous storage space and attachment limits that allow you to send and receive large files, photos, or documents. You can also use email to store files in your drafts or sent folders, or to send files to yourself as a backup or reminder.

Cloud storage: Services such as Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive, or iCloud offer free or paid plans that let you upload, sync, and share files across devices or users. They usually have features such as version history, password protection, or sharing permissions that give you more control over your files.

External hard drive: If you prefer to keep your files offline or on a physical device, you can use an external hard drive or USB drive to store your files. Make sure to back up your files regularly and keep the drive in a safe place to avoid loss or damage.

While social media platforms such as Facebook Messenger can be useful for quick chats and file sharing, they are not a reliable or secure way to store important files or photos. To avoid losing your data or compromising your privacy, use dedicated file storage or cloud services that offer more control and security over your files. Stay safe!

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