So far, 2018 has been a messy one for Facebook.

After being forced to confront privacy concerns of lawmakers and citizens in the US and EU following the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Now, the social network has been forced into the privacy conversation once again.

Since yesterday Facebook has been contacting users who were affected by a bug that unblocked a user they had previously 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. For example pictures shared with friends of friends,” Facebook’s chief privacy officer Erin Egan wrote in a blog post.

The exec goes on to explain that users who were suddenly unblocked thanks to the bug would be able to contact folks on Messenger.

Thankfully looking at the numbers this bug wasn’t as serious as the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Of the 800 000 people that were affected by this issue 83 percent had only one person unblocked and friend connections were not reinstated (thankfully).

Facebook says that the bug has been fixed and everybody who was blocked and then unblocked, has been blocked again.

As you might have noticed – it’s over a month since the incident happened and Facebook is only notifying users about this now.

To explain why it took so long the social media giant told Recode that it took a bit of time to do its due diligence and determine how many users were affected by the bug. Still, this news comes at a time when Facebook desperately needs to regain the trust of users.

The social network will be notifying users who were affected by this bug via a Facebook notification. That having been said now might be a good time to check your block list and if you need some help blocking somebody on Facebook you can refer to this handy guide.


[Image – CC BY 2.0 Book Catalog]
Brendyn Lotz writes news, reviews, and opinion pieces for Hypertext. His interests include SMEs, innovation on the African continent, cybersecurity, blockchain, games, geek culture and YouTube.