For the second time in less than a month, Facebook is having to alert users that their accounts may have been negatively impacted because of a bug. According to an announcement on Facebook’s news blog, the company is notifying 800,000 Facebook and Messenger users that people they blocked may have been unblocked between May 29 and June 5.
“While someone who was unblocked could not see content shared with friends, they could have seen things posted to a wider audience. For example, pictures shared with friends of friends,” writes Facebook’s chief privacy officer, Erin Egan.
Facebook is sending an alert to the users via its app, letting them know the length of time the bug was active and that it has been fixed.
Facebook says the bug did not reinstate any friend connections that had been terminated and that 83 percent of the 800,000 users (664,000) affected by the bug only had one blocked person temporarily unblocked — which means 136,000 users may have had multiple blocked people become unblocked while the bug was in effect. Facebook also noted that the people who had been unblocked may have been able to contact the person who blocked them via Messenger during the May 29 through June 5 time period.
Facebook apologized for the error and is encouraging users to check their blocked lists.
Last month, Facebook confirmed the privacy settings for 14 million users had been switched to public, also because of a bug. Less than two weeks ago, the company mistakenly sent app analytics reports to the wrong people, giving app performance data to people outside of the intended app development companies.
On top of having to apologize to users for a litany of errors during the past month, Facebook is still performing due diligence on the app side of its business to protect user safety in the aftermath of the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Just today, the company released a new series of updates to its app developer platform, including a review process for any app before giving it access to the Facebook Marketing API.
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