Facebook's Use of Images for Email Addresses

Why does Facebook convert profile email addresses to images from text?

I noticed this while visiting a friend’s profile where I realized he, sadly, changed his email address when he changed ISPs (dude, seriously, stop using email addresses tied to your ISP).

I tried to grab his new address so I could update his contact information, but no, I couldn’t grab it because it was an image rather than text:

Facebook Email Image

Why do they do this? Who are they protecting? I only have access to the email addresses of my friends and others who’ve opted to allow public access to their profile information, so I don’t understand how this could be a spam prevention strategy.

Any theories?

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