Your Private Facebook Posts May Have Been Public For Days

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The company said on Thursday the bug automatically suggested that users make new posts public, even if they had previously restricted to "friends only" or another private setting.

"We have fixed this issue, and, starting today, we are letting everyone affected know and asking them to review any posts they made during that time", Facebook Chief Privacy Officer Erin Egan said in the statement.

It is still unclear how numerous 14 million profiles that were affected may have posted content privately without realizing they were sharing publicly. People could have changed the individual audience setting on posts, but would have had to notice the setting was different from what they'd chosen.

Starting today, affected users will begin seeing messages from Facebook that encourage them to "Please Review Your Posts".

The software blunder comes at a time when Facebook is facing a deep mistrust from users over its practices of sharing user data with third parties without their consent.


Huawei claimed Wednesday it neither collected nor stored Facebook user data, after the social media giant acknowledged it shared such data with Huawei and other manufacturers.

The company said the mistake happened as it worked to redesign how it displays parts of user profiles that are always public. In the process of creating this feature, Facebook said it accidentally made the suggested audience for all new posts public. "We expect that this kind of on-platform notification is something which people might see more of over the coming months as we try and do more (and better) to detect and fix issues before they affect people's experience".

The tweet below shows the notification users will be receiving.

The bug caps off a string of recent controversies for Facebook, most notably the Cambridge Analytica scandal, which resulted in 87 million users' data being harvested without their knowledge and shared with the Trump-affiliated research firm. In the meantime, you can take solace in the fact that this glitch only affected 0.007 percent of Facebook users - which is 14 million people.

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