Facebook made some private posts public for as many as 14 million

08 Junio, 2018, 02:17 | Author: Misty Newman
  • Facebook says a software bug made some private posts public for as many as 14 million users over several days in May

A bug was live from May 18 to May 27 where about 14 million Facebook users around the world had their default sharing setting for all new posts set to public, the company revealed.

The issue arose from a bug affecting Facebook's "audience selector" tool, which allows users to decide whether to publish a post only to their friends or to a broader audience. We have fixed this issue and starting today we are letting everyone affected know and asking them to review any posts they made during that time.

According to the company, a software bug automatically updated the audience for some users' posts from "friends only " to public without any warning. After Facebook employees discovered the bug, which occurred while the tech giant was testing a new feature, the company claimed workers went back and changed the privacy settings for all posts shared by those 14 million users during that time. "We'd like to apologise for this mistake". If users did not notice the new default suggestion, they unwittingly sent their post to a broader audience than they had intended.

This week, The Washington Post reported that Facebook shared special user data with Huawei - a Chinese firm that lawmakers say poses a national security threat.

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"We'd like to apologise for this mistake", said Erin Egan, Facebook's head of privacy. Facebook usually lets users choose how they want their content to be shared, with basic options being: "Public, Only Friends, Friends Except, Specific Friends or Only me". Those were set to be publicly visible, but Facebook accidentally extended that setting to all new posts.

Considering that Facebook has almost 2.2 billion users worldwide, the number of affected users is small. And while the bug was only in effect for a few days, it's an example of how many different settings users have to be aware of on Facebook.

However, between 18 and 22 May this year, the bug would set posts to "public" even if the user had, in the previous post, chosen something more private.

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