It appears Facebook may have made another “oops” by accidentally unblocking people Facebook users had blocked and in the process made content viewable to eyeballs that were not meant to see it.
With the amount of scrutiny Facebook has come under over the past few months, you’d think the company would take the time to ensure no further bugs or information would “accidentally” be available to users and viewers that are not meant to have access. Unfortunately, Facebook may have done it again. The good news is, only a small segment of users were affected and even then, the damage was minimal and already corrected.
A hiccup in both Facebook and Facebook Messenger resulted in the unblocking of over 800,000 Facebook users who had their blocked preferences undone. As a result, content that was likely meant to be unseen was made available and some users likely had some explaining to do.
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The accident required an apology and on Facebook’s newsroom page the company addressed the issue. Chief Privacy Officer Erin Egan wrote:
“Starting today we are notifying over 800,000 users about a bug in Facebook and Messenger that unblocked some people they had blocked. The bug was active between May 29 and June 5 — and while someone who was unblocked could not see content shared with friends, they could have seen things posted to a wider audience. For example pictures shared with friends of friends. We know that the ability to block someone is important — and we’d like to apologize and explain what happened.”
Facebook also went on to note that the bug did not reinstate any friend connections that had been severed, that 83 percent of people affected by the bug had only one person they had blocked temporarily unblocked, and someone who was unblocked might have been able to contact people on Messenger who had blocked them.
So, while the issue really didn’t affect many people, and it wasn’t anything near the level of disaster that was the Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg undergoing a congressional inquisition, it’s another reason for users of Facebook to wonder just how secure the things they say and do on the platform are really all that private.
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