Wednesday January 16, 2019
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Facebook Admits Bug Unblocked People 800,000 Users’ List

The company said the issue has now been fixed and everyone has been blocked again

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Facebook, video chat
LinkedIn faced probe for Facebook ads targeting 18 mn non-members. Pixabay

In yet another privacy goof-up, Facebook has admitted that over 800,000 users were affected by a bug on its platform and Messenger that unblocked some people these users had blocked.

The bug was active between May 29 and June 5 — and while someone who was unblocked could not see content shared with friends, they could have seen things posted to a wider audience, said Facebook.

“For example pictures shared with friends of friends. We know that the ability to block someone is important — and we’d like to apologise and explain what happened,” Erin Egan, Chief Privacy Officer at Facebook, wrote in a blog post on Tuesday.

When you block someone on Facebook, they cannot see things you post on your profile, start conversations with you on Messenger or add you as a friend.

Blocking also automatically unfriends them if you were previously friends.

“In the case of this bug, it did not reinstate any friend connections that had been severed,” Egan said.

Nearly 83 per cent of people affected by the bug had only one person they had blocked temporarily unblocked.

Also Read: Facebook Into Data-Sharing Partnership With 52 Companies

Someone who was unblocked might have been able to contact people on Messenger who had blocked them, Facebook noted.

The company said the issue has now been fixed and everyone has been blocked again.

“People who were affected will get a notification on Facebook encouraging them to check their blocked list,” the company said.

Facebook mobile app
Facebook mobile app. Pixabayfacebook 

Facebook has already been grappling with privacy issues like the Cambridge Analytica data scandal involving 87 million users and another bug that changed 14 million users’ privacy setting defaults to public.

“While 800,000 people is just a tiny fraction of the 2.2 billion Facebook user base, that is still a sizable number of affected users who may have been subject to concerning episodes,” The Verge reported. (IANS)

Next Story

Facebook To Invest Over $300 mn to Support Local News

"This year, we'll commit over $20 million to continue our local 'Accelerator' programme in the US and to expand the model globally, including in Europe," said Brown

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Facebook
Facebook commits $300 mn to support local news. Pixabay

Facebook has announced to invest over $300 million over the next three years to support local news organisations.

In a blog post, Campbell Brown, Vice President, Global News Partnerships, said that Facebook wants to support local journalists and newsrooms with their news gathering needs in the immediate future and help these organisations build sustainable business models, through both its product and partnership work.

“We heard one consistent answer: people want more local news, and local newsrooms are looking for more support. That’s why today we’re announcing an expanded effort around local news in the years ahead,” Brown said late on Tuesday.

In 2018, Google also committed $300 million for over three years to strengthen quality journalism, support sustainable business models and empower newsrooms through technological innovation.

Facebook
Facebook, social media. Pixabay

It was also committing to spend $300 million over the next three years on its various journalism-related projects.

According to Facebook, it would invest $300 million in news programmes, partnerships and content.

Among the components is a Pulitzer Centre — a $5 million endowment gift to launch “Bringing Stories Home”, a gift that will provide local newsrooms across the US with reporting grants to foster coverage on topics that affect local communities.

Also Read- Microsoft to End All Support For ‘Windows 7’ in 2020

“Report for America” is a $2 million investment in the initiative to place 1,000 journalists in local newsrooms across America over the next five years.

“This year, we’ll commit over $20 million to continue our local ‘Accelerator’ programme in the US and to expand the model globally, including in Europe,” said Brown. (IANS)