Facebook apologises after some private messages are made public

Facebook says sorry for embarrassing private message privacy glitch

Facebook has apologised to 14 million users it believes have been affected by a bug which led to their private posts being published publicly inadvertently in some cases.

The problem arose from Facebook’s ‘audience selector’ tool, which enables members to decide whether to publish a post solely for their friends or to engage a wider audience. In general this remains locked to the last enabled setting but from 18 May to 27 May it defaulted to public.

Erin Egan, Facebook’s chief privacy officer said: “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. We’d like to apologize for this mistake.”

Those affected will be notified individually with an explanation and an apology for the oversight – together with a request to review any sensitive posts which may have been made over the period in question.

The admission serves as another blow to the social media platforms authority as it scrabbles to rebuild trust in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, which saw user data passed onto third parties without their consent.

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