As reported by CNET, Facebook admitted to have accidentally made an error and changed the default sharing setting of the posts to “Public”, resulting in many privately shared timeline posts to be exposed publicly.
An error that was supposed to test new features rather changed the status of the posts which were shared with “Friends Only” to the “Public”, so the friends who have been liking or commenting on such posts made the post shown visible to the friends of the friends too. So if you have been noticing an unwanted activity on your posts or comments/likes/shares from unknown people, it was because you were one of the 14 million affected victims of this ridiculous bug-cum-error.
Facebook first claimed the error as a bug but later admitted it as its own fault. The bug circulated for only four days from May 18 to May 22 until it was caught and eliminated. However, the fixation took it 5 more days to automatically turn the status of the accidental Public posts back to its originally selected Private status.
Facebook is planning to send a “Please review your posts” notification to the affected users from today and help them review the private details that have been compromised.
“We recently found a bug that automatically suggested posting publicly when some people were creating their Facebook posts. 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. 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.”, says Facebook Chief Privacy Officer Erin Egan.
People who shared the posts on their timeline during that period and didn’t change the default setting to private may have left their private stuff visible to the public. But chance are that many people noticing the odd activity on their post may have changed the status of the post back to private and saved themselves on time. But if you haven’t, do it now!