San Francisco, July 3: In yet another privacy goof-up, social media giant Facebook has admitted that more than 800,000 users were affected by a bug that unblocked some people these users had blocked.
According to Facebook, the malware 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.
“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, usually they cannot see things you post on your social media profile, start conversations with you on Messenger or send you a friend request.
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.
Around percent of people affected by the bug had only one person they had blocked temporarily unblocked.
“People who were affected will get a notification on Facebook encouraging them to check their blocked list,” the company said.
The Social Media major has already under a cloud over 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.
As per The Verge report “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”.