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.
Facebook posts typically default to the last "audience" a post was shared with, such as family members, friends, or friends except their boss. 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". "We apologize for this mistake", the note reads, according to screenshots from TechCrunch. It will also show affected users a notification with an explanation and apology, and urge them to review any posts they made during the time period when the bug was active. 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.
During the month of May, social media users may have been posting the posts publicly and not even realizing it thanks to another Facebook screw-up.
The statement said that Facebook technicians stopped automatically making private posts public on May 22, but that it took them another five days to fully restore privacy settings for all the affected posts. If you're one of the affected users, go to your notifications and check for the alert, which includes a roster of links to your potentially affected posts. 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.
In new accounts, and most others, posts are public by default.
Facebook, which said it discovered the bug, has not yet shared details about who may have accessed the exposed data, or how that access may have occurred.
For example, the site made it easier for users to download all the data Facebook has on them, as well as gave them greater control over what sites the company is able to share their personal information with, such as advertisers and research firms.