(FinancialPress) — Oops? For 4 days over the month of May, Facebook had the new post sharing settings of 14 million users set to Public. The news was revealed by the company itself.
The bug was in effect from May 18 to May 22. It happened as the company tested a new feature on its platform.
Once employees identified the issue, the company rolled back the privacy settings of posts shared over that time for all 14 million affected users.
Every post made over that time period was changed to private – even those that users may have meant to share publicly. CNN was told that the full stack of changes took five days to make.
Facebook will notify affected users over several days with a notification. It it, they will be prompted to “Please Review your (their) Posts“ – and a link that will lead to the posts shared over the duration of the issue.
When a new post is made by an user, its privacy settings are defaulted to the ones used for their last post – say, friends from work, close friends, or family members. If users noticed the bug themselves over that time, they would have been able to reset the settings manually.
Erin Egan, chief privacy officer for Facebook, had this to say: “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.”
A spokesperspon for the company stated that the notification marks a new beginning on the more transparent way that the company will handle issues moving forward.