Facebook flaw changed millions of users’ posts from private to public

Sheri Evans
June 8, 2018

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 company said that it's informing 14 million of its users who may have accidentally shared their posts publicly because of this bug. Your secrets are safe - unless someone saw them, of course.

The bug, which affected those users from May 18 to May 22, occurred while Facebook was testing a new feature. 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.

"We recently found a bug that automatically suggested posting publicly when some people were creating their Facebook posts".

"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", Egan said. 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.

The bug apparently happened because Facebook was building a new "featured items" option that highlights content on profiles. The affected users will then be shown which posts were marked public during the glitch.

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Facebook said that it was today beginning to notify affected users.

When people post to Facebook, the service suggests and audience for their posts, based on past privacy settings.

The news followed a recent furor over Facebook's sharing of user data - oversharing, in the eyes of many critics. He apologized for Facebook's handling of the issue and promised that the company would be more transparent and "do better" when it comes to protecting user data and security.

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.

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