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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 tightens noose around fake accounts. 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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Birthday Fundraisers on Facebook Raise More than $300 mn in the First Year

Since November 2017, Facebook waived fees, so 100 per cent of all donations made to nonprofits on Facebook go directly to the nonprofits they are supporting

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Facebook birthday fundraisers raise $300 mn in 1st year. Pixabay

Facebook birthday fundraisers, a feature that allows users to raise funds for the causes they care about and donate it to nonprofit organisations, raked in more than $300 million in the first year, the company has said.

To make it easier for users to pick one non-profit from a list of over 750,000 nonprofits on Facebook, the social netoworking giant also announced new tools for people using the feature.

“…we will soon provide more information: when you click on a nonprofit in the list, you can learn more about the organisation, their mission, location and how many people like their Page,” Asha Sharma, Facebook’s Head of Product, Social Good, said in a statement on Wednesday.

“We also plan to share more relevant information, like popular search terms in the nonprofit selection tool,” Sharma said.

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Facebook, social media. Pixabay

Earlier, Facebook added new tools to nonprofit fundraisers, like the ability to match donations and add organisers to fundraiser.

Pages – including those run by brands, public figures, and nonprofits themselves – can now create and donate to fundraisers.

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And it added a tool so people can make recurring monthly donations to the organisations and causes that are important to them.

Since November 2017, Facebook waived fees, so 100 per cent of all donations made to nonprofits on Facebook go directly to the nonprofits they are supporting. (IANS)