Facebook wants you to know Messenger isn't spying on you. After people got mad about the company's decision to make downloading Facebook Messenger necessary to use Facebook Chat on mobile, the backlash got so bad Facebook's Peter Martinazzi issued an official "calm the eff down" announcement.
You might have heard the rumours going around about the Messenger app. Some have claimed that the app is always using your phone's camera and microphone to see and hear what you're doing. These reports aren't true, and many have been corrected.
He didn't apologise for making everyone download a second Facebook app in order to have access to Facebook's full functionality on mobile (on the contrary, he reaffirmed Facebook's belief that insisting on Messenger will make your life better). But he did attempt to assuage fears that Facebook is insisting on Messenger so it can Big Brother the shit out of us:
How we actually use the camera and microphone -- Like most other apps, we request permission to run certain features, such as making calls and sending photos, videos or voice messages. If you want to send a selfie to a friend, the app needs permission to turn on your phone's camera and capture that photo. We don't turn on your camera or microphone when you aren't using the app.
Facebook's decision to respond to the spying rumours indicate they received a significant amount of backlash... or that they're trying to divert attention away from how annoying their mandatory Messenger decision is by pretending to ameliorate conspiracy theorists. [The Next Web]