Facebook made some private posts public for as many as 14M

Facebook flaw changed millions of users’ posts from private to public

"We recently found a bug that automatically suggested posting publicly when some people were creating their Facebook posts", Ms Egan said. "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'd been using before".

Huawei, a company flagged by US intelligence officials as a national security threat, was the latest device maker at the center of a fresh wave of allegations over Facebook's handling of private data. Here's how it happened. Unfortunately, the bug itself is horrendous for Facebook's core reputation.

Facebook posts typically default to the last "audience" a post was shared with, such as family members or friends.

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This meant the company was able to mine the information of 87 million Facebook users even though just 270,000 people gave them permission to do so. This was the case during the bug's lifespan too. Someone can, for example, share a post with only a limited group of family and friends, or decide to make a post public so that anyone, including people not logged on to Facebook, can see it.

"We'd like to apologize for this mistake", Egan said.

Where did the bug come from?

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These items, which include posts and photo albums, are automatically public.

Why are we hearing about it now?

Facebook is notifying users who were affected and posted publicly during the time the bug was active, advising them to review their posts.

The blunder is yet another embarrassing gaffe for Facebook at a time when the biz can hardly afford to cast further doubt on its ability to secure the personal details of its users.

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So, could Facebook be in trouble?

So many users that keep posts set to private would have had no idea about the issue or may have not even thought to check the status. Facebook is now in the process of rolling out new privacy menus to all of its 2 billion users.

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