800,000 Facebook users blocked people who saw their posts anyhow


James Martin/CNET

Facebook keeps making mistakes that share your info — and this time it’s with people you’ve explicitly blocked. 

According to an official Facebook blog post, the company is notifying over 800,000 users that unwanted people may have seen posts on Facebook and Facebook Messenger, even if you’d proactively blocked those people from seeing your posts, between May 29 and June 5.

Mind you, they couldn’t see private posts, or posts you’d only shared with your friends. But if you sent a post to “friends of friends” or a wider audience, blocked people could see them. And those people may have been able to contact people on Facebook Messenger who’d blocked them, potentially leading to harassment.

Facebook says the bug didn’t re-add friends who you’ve unfriended, and the vast majority (83 percent) of people affected by the bug only had a single person temporarily unblocked. 

But add this to the 14 million people who shared posts publicly when they meant them to be private, the Facebook apps that leaked their analytics to testers instead of developers, the Facebook quizzes that shared your user data and the dozens of companies that quietly had special arrangements to access Facebook user data — all of these since the Cambridge Analytica scandal — and Facebook would seem to have quite the trust problem.

Disclosure: Sean’s wife works for Facebook as an internal video producer.


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