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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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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

Local News Dry up for Facebook Media Project in US

In January this year, the Facebook Journalism Project announced to invest $300 million in local newsrooms

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A photo shows the Facebook app icon on an iPhone in New York, Feb. 19, 2014. VOA

Facebook is having trouble finding enough local news to feed its new journalism initiative, because hundreds of newspapers have shut down in the US.

“About one in three users in the US live in places where we cannot find enough local news on Facebook to launch ‘Today In’,” Facebook wrote in a blog post on Monday.

In those “news deserts” – communities with little or no local reporting – Facebook hasn’t been able to find “five or more recent news articles directly related to these towns” for its news feature “Today In” that was launched in November last year.

“In the last 28 days, there has not been a single day where we’ve been able to find five or more recent news articles directly related to these towns.

“This does not vary much by region: 35 per cent of users in the Midwest, Northeast, and South — and 26 per cent in the West a” live in places where we can’t find much local newson Facebook,” said the social networking company.

Facebook, data, vietnam
This photo shows a Facebook app icon on a smartphone in New York. VOA

“Today In” has been rolled out to over 400 cities in the US.

“We’re also announcing a new pilot programme, the Facebook Journalism Project Community Network, to support projects aimed at building community through local news,” said Facebook.

Also Read- Dell and Alienware to Launch New PC Gaming Devices to India

According to Engadget, nearly 1,800 papers have shut down in the US since around the time Facebook came online 15 years ago.

In January this year, the Facebook Journalism Project announced to invest $300 million in local newsrooms. (IANS)