Facebook bug made millions of users' default settings public

Well shucks

Well shucks

Facebook has admitted to an incredibly embarrassing bug - one that shared the private posts of 14 million users publicly.

Facebook said the privacy bug took place from May 18 to May 27 and didn't affect any posts published before that time period. "We'd like to apologize for this mistake", Erin Egan, chief privacy officer of Facebook, told Fox News. Facebook is also referring users to this privacy basics page. In the meantime, Facebook has set any public posts from that period to users' previous default settings, meaning that even users who meant to make posts public will need to reset them to be globally accessible. "Since these featured items are public, the suggested audience for all new posts - not just these items - was set to 'public.' The problem has been fixed, and for anyone affected, we changed the audience back to what they'd been using before".

According to the company, a software bug automatically updated the audience for some users' posts from "friends only " to public without any warning. Normally, Facebook makes it possible for users to share photos, text, or video only with family members, work colleagues, or other specially designated contacts and preventing anyone else from seeing the content.

Affected Facebook users will get a notification on the app or website starting Thursday. The bug Facebook is telling users about caused the setting to flip to public without notifying the user, so if they rightfully assumed that their privacy settings hadn't changed, they were wrong. The message from Facebook urged users to "Please Review Your Posts", and gave them a link to a list of what they shared on Facebook while the bug was active.

CEO Mark Zuckerberg ultimately issued a mea culpa and promised to do better for its users, a promise, in light of the most recent bug, is something the company is going to have to work harder to keep. In the process, the developers accidentally suggested all new posts be set to public, rather than just the featured items.

Facebook is facing a major new privacy gaffe.

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