Facebook bug publicly shared the private posts of 14 million users

Todd Singleton
June 8, 2018

San Francisco: Facebook acknowledged Thursday a software glitch that changed the settings of some 14 million users, potentially making some posts public even if they were meant to be private. The bug apparently affected 14 million people, although it seems Facebook doesn't know how many of those users may have actually posted something to the public. Your secrets are safe - unless someone saw them, of course.

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

Erin Egan, Facebook's chief privacy officer, said the bug did not affect past posts. To be clear, this bug did not impact anything people had posted before - and they could still choose their audience just as they always have.

The problem, which Facebook says it has fixed, is the latest privacy scandal for the world's largest social media company.

How did this happen?

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The bug was a result of a new feature that Facebook was developing to give users a different way of sharing certain content.

It was unclear if users could have done anything to their settings to prevent being affected by the bug the company revealed on Thursday. In the meantime, it has reverted the audience for any affected posts to whatever setting the user had selected previously.

It will also display more detailed information about the bug, which Facebook has referred to as a 'technical error'.

While many phone makers have said any data pulled through those channels only resided on phones, not on company servers, some critics have questioned how certain Facebook can be that those statements are true. That way, users can reset a post that was inadvertently set to public back to being shared just with friends if they would like.

'Within the United States alone, we have played a pivotal role in winning presidential races as well as congressional and state elections, ' with data on more than 230 million American voters, Cambridge Analytica claims on its website.

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