Me and all my friends Facebook accounts this week seem to have a huge breach of privacy. Sidelined on everybody's timeline is a strip with year/month navigation. Clicking on a year jumps to the top of that stream. Highlighted here is a box saying "NNN friends posted on XYZ's timeline." and proceeds to list them.
At first glance, this looks like wall posts, but digging in to older years it looks like huge numbers of private messages are now showing up there in well. In fact there is a series of warnings being forwarded chain letter style in my friends status updates about this privacy breach.
I've seen several news articles saying that these are not actually private messages but only wall posts. Looking through my own and my friends walls, this seems preposterous, there are huge numbers of messages that would certainly have been private.
Why did these private messages start showing in my timeline and how can I remove them? Is there a way to do it without also removing all normal wall posts from my timeline?