Skype investigating bug that sends instant messages to wrong contacts

17 Jul 2012

Some Skype users are reporting a bug that is sending instant messages to contacts for whom they weren’t intended, resulting in a bit of embarrassment and a lot of frustration.

The bug seems to have arisen following an update to Skype in June, with users reporting that lines from chat with one contact have inadvertently been forwarded on to another.

This is both embarrassing and frustrating for users who are seeing their personal messages shared unintentionally with random entries on their contact lists – some of whom may be business contacts.

Most users affected appear to have only become aware of the issue when the person who received the messages in error let them know.

One user described this error as “very awkward and slightly embarrassing” and many others are threatening to ditch the service altogether.

A post on Skype’s Heartbeat blog yesterday claims the issue only occurs when Skype crashes during an IM session, but discussions on the forums say otherwise.

“Although we cannot determine precisely how many users may have been affected by this error, we believe the number is small given the very specific circumstances under which the error occurs,” the blog reads. “At Skype, our customer experience is paramount and we are working hard to release fixes for impacted clients within the next several days.”

The versions affected by this bug are Skype 5.9 and 5.10 for Windows, Skype 5.8 for Mac, Skype 4.0 for Linux, Skype 1.2 for Windows Phone, Skype 2.8 for Android, and Skype 4.0 for iOS.

Users are advised to download an update for Skype as soon as one becomes available as this will contain a fix for the bug.

Elaine Burke is the host of For Tech’s Sake, a co-production from Silicon Republic and The HeadStuff Podcast Network. She was previously the editor of Silicon Republic.