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Facebook Admits “Bug” Exposed Private Posts Of 14 Million Users

Bug made private posts of 14mn users public, admits Facebook

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Facebook Helps Couple Raise $3.4mn For Reuniting Immigrant Families
Facebook Helps Couple Raise $3.4mn For Reuniting Immigrant Families. Pixabay
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In yet another privacy goof-up, Facebook has admitted that 14 million users were affected by a bug in May that automatically suggested posting publicly when the users were writing posts meant only for friends.

The bug made sure that the posts could be viewed by anyone, including people not logged on to Facebook. It was not yet known users in which country were affected the most.

The bug, according to Erin Egan, Chief Privacy Officer at Facebook, occurred as the Facebook developers were building a new way to share featured items on users’ profile, like a photo.

“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 had been using before,” Egan said in a blog post late Thursday.

The revelation came after a New York Times report exposed how the social network allowed about 60 device makers, including Chinese smartphone players, to access personal information of users and their friends.

Facebook admitted sharing users’ data with Chinese company Huawei — facing the heat in the US over data privacy concerns — along with three other China-based smartphone makers Lenovo, OPPO and TCL.

The latest bug affected audience selector that lets users decide who gets to see the post.

Representational image.
Representational image. Pixabay

Starting Thursday, “we have started letting the 14 million people affected know — and asking them to review any posts they made during that time.

“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 took Facebook developers five days to fix the bug.

“If you posted publicly (during the period May 18 to 27), you’ll see a notification from Facebook when you log in that leads to a page with more information — including a review of posts during this period,” said Egan.

Every time you share something on Facebook, it shows you an audience selector so users can decide who gets to see the post.

Also Read: Facebook has Rolled Out a New Feature for Music Lovers

For example, if you choose to share a photo with friends only, your audience selector will automatically suggest you share to friends next time you start a post.

“We’ve heard loud and clear that we need to be more transparent about how we build our products and how those products use your data — including when things go wrong,” Egan said.

Facebook is already under intense scrutiny for misuse of millions of its users’ data after the Cambridge Analytica data leak scandal became public. (IANS)

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Facebook Helps Couple Raise $3.4mn For Reuniting Immigrant Families

Over 83,000 people have contributed to the cause on Facebook so far

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Facebook Helps Couple Raise $3.4mn For Reuniting Immigrant Families
Facebook Helps Couple Raise $3.4mn For Reuniting Immigrant Families. Pixabay

A couple in the US has seen outpouring of support from thousands of people when they set out to raise money on Facebook for reuniting immigrant parents with their children, helping them raise $3.4 million in a matter of three days, the media reported.

Charlotte and Dave Willner, set a target of raising $3.75 million, the USA Today reported on Monday.

The money raised from the Facebook campaign, “Reunite an immigrant parent with their child,” is channelled to RAICES, a Texas-based nonprofit that provides free legal services to immigrants and refugees.

Over 83,000 people have contributed to the cause on Facebook so far.

“The funding we are receiving will save lives. It will keep people from being deported to unsafe countries,” Jenny Hixon of RAICES was quoted as saying.

Facebook mobile app
Facebook mobile app, Pixabay

“It speaks to the outrage the cruel policies at the border have provoked. It honestly gives us hope in what has felt like a very dark time,” she added.

The US administration policy that separates immigrant parents from their children at the Mexico border has drawn criticism from different quarters, including the US First Lady Melania Trump.

According to the the Department of Homeland Security, nearly 2,000 children were separated from their families after illegally crossing the US border in April and May.

Also Read: Facebook To Block Defensive Ads Targeting Under Adults

Launched in 2017, Facebook’s fundraiser platform allows people to raise money for different causes, including personal causes.

Personal fundraisers allow people to raise money for a friend, themselves or a sick pet directly on Facebook.

The social media giant waived fees last year for nonprofit fundraisers. (IANS)