Facebook Admits "Bug" Had Private Posts Of 14 Million Users Made Public

08 June, 2018, 06:02 | Author: Darrell Baldwin
  • Facebook flaw changed millions of users’ posts from private to public

"We recently found a bug that automatically suggested posting publicly when some people were creating their Facebook posts", Ms Egan said.

The development marked the latest major blunder for Facebook since allegations emerged in March that a Trump-affiliated political consultancy firm, Cambridge Analytica, had improperly harvested data from tens of millions of Facebook users to influence elections. People could have changed the individual audience setting on posts, but would have had to notice the setting was different from what they'd chosen.

As Recode points out, the private/public setting on Facebook will be the same for new posts as it was on previous ones.

Facebook said it will reach out to the users who are thought to have been affected by the bug.

Facebook said that it was today beginning to notify affected users. "We apologize for this mistake", the note reads, according to screenshots from TechCrunch.

The specific tool being tested was a "featured items" option on a user's profile that highlights photos and other content.




It said the bug automatically suggested that users make new posts public, even if they had previously restricted posts to "friends only" or another private setting.

Starting today, affected users will get a message from Facebook advising them to "Please Review Your Posts". It is believed that the bug was live for a period of 10 days or more during the month of May.

A Facebook spokesperson said the notification is the start of new proactive and transparent way for the company to handle issues going forward. These featured items are publicly visible, but Facebook inadvertently extended that setting to all new posts from those users.

A Facebook booth is seen at the China International Big Data Industry Expo in Guiyang, Guizhou province, China, on May 27, 2018.

Facebook was back in the spotlight in the past few days after the New York Times reported that Facebook had data-sharing contracts with device makers like Apple and Samsung.

Facebook is embroiled in a snafu that exposed users' private postings and made them public, the company admitted Thursday.

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