Facebook Acknowledges 'Bug' That Suggested Public Sharing To Users

Facebook admitted that a “bug” automatically changed suggested sharing settings to “public” for 14 million users from May 18-27.

Facebook Changes Privacy Settings For Users (Again)

Facebook has had a long history of changing people’s privacy settings from private to public. The company claims that in this situation the issue was caused by a bug, and that it wasn’t intentional. This could very well be the case considering it only happened to a relatively small percentage of people (out of 2+ billion users).

Facebook claimed that this privacy issue appeared when the company’s developers were working on new ways to share featured items on your profile, like a photo. Because these features are public, the suggested audience for all posts were set to public, instead of just the featured items.

The company said that the 14 million users who were affected by this issue will be notified about it and their sharing settings will be changed back to what they were before the bug occurred.  

“Move Fast And Break Things”

For many years, Facebook’s motto has been “move fast and break things.” What this meant was that the company’s developers were encouraged to develop and implement a new feature quickly to see how the users like it, instead of spending too much time planning and testing it. The most important thing was the speed of development.

However, soon after the company became public in 2012, it seems to have had a change of heart on this slogan, as it couldn’t “break things” too often without risking a drop in stock value. In 2014, Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the motto had changed to “move fast with stable infra” (referring to infrastructure).

Although things have improved significantly over the past several years, the company’s developers may have not completely shaken off the old mantra, as serious bugs still seem to happen from time to time.

To Facebook’s credit, the company seems to have kept its promise on at least one post-Cambridge Analytica commitment, and that’s being more transparent with its users, instead of keeping the issues secret.

Lucian Armasu
Lucian Armasu is a Contributing Writer for Tom's Hardware US. He covers software news and the issues surrounding privacy and security.
  • Apple Troll Master
    isn't Facebook the bug?
  • stdragon
    Uh huh, a "bug" they say. Of course they would say that now after being grilled in front of government officials the world over.
  • therealduckofdeath
    Did they just say "We were testing a new method to share selected private posts to everybody and accidentally shared a bit more. But we're good, right?"
  • derekullo