Facebook Bug Caused 14 Million Users’ Sharing Settings To Go Public

Facebook’s privacy problems continued to mount this week when the company revealed that a bug may have led to 14 million users publically sharing posts that they thought were private.

The bug, which was active from May 18 to May 27, accidentally changed the suggested privacy settings for status updates. That means 14 million people had their default sharing settings changed to public no matter how their settings were configured before. In response, Facebook is now sending a notification to all of the affected users, and changing the suggested settings for all the affected posts back to what they had been.  

“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 a statement. “To be clear, this bug did not impact anything people had posted before — and they could still choose their audience just as they always have. We’d like to apologize for this mistake.”

Facebook is acting quickly to sweep this problem under the rug, and with good reason: think about the content you share with your friends versus what you would share publically. This is a big-time error, and it couldn’t have come at a worse time for a company already under siege for its privacy practices.