Facebook Admits "Bug" Had Private Posts Of 14 Million Users Made Public

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

The fixes started rolling out on May 22 and Facebook seemed more than willing to stress that while they messed with your privacy settings users were still able, if they noticed, to change their settings back during that time.

Ms Egan says the issue did not affect past posts and has apologised for the mistake. In the meantime, it has reverted the audience for any affected posts to whatever setting the user had selected previously.

During the period, any post an affected user published on Facebook would have automatically been posted publicly. For a bug to break that system for millions of users is yet another major problem Facebook is going to have to deal with. 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. Even if a user had set their default sharing option to "friends", the bug changed the setting for affected users to "public". In the process, the developers accidentally suggested all new posts be set to public, rather than just the featured items. That means if an eagle-eyed user didn't catch the bug, they likely shared some status updates publicly on Facebook that they meant to share only with friends. Anyone whose posts were mistakenly made public will see a notification on their Facebook account-both the mobile app and website-entitled "Please Review Your Posts".

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"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", Egan said.

It's the latest in a series of revelations about Facebook's privacy lapses.

The news follows a recent furor over Facebook's sharing of user data with device makers, including China's Huawei.

The company said the issue has been fixed and have blamed it on a software bug.

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