Facebook keeps tinkering with their software and users keep getting burned. Facebook’s Chief Privacy Office has revealed that a software bug resulted in 800,000 user accounts having content distributed to people those users had previously blocked. And while that might seem harmless, the results could have been devastating.
When you choose to block someone on Facebook, you become invisible to them. They can’t see any posts you make, whether they are public or private and they can’t initiate any contact with you over Messenger. The bug, which the company’s Chief Privacy Officer, Erin Egan, revealed in a blog post resulted in some content being shared to blocked people.
The bug was active in Facebook’s systems for about a week, from May 25 to June 5.
Facebook’s statement tried to downplay the significance of the issue saying friend connections that had been severed weren’t restored and that 83 percent of people affected by the bug had only one person they had blocked temporarily unblocked.
People block other people on Facebook for all sorts of reasons. In the most benign cases, blocking is used to stop an annoying voice from bugging you. But it can be used to stop former partners from spying on you or, in the most extreme cases, help protect someone from violence and abuse. Before any of you say that anyone in that situation shouldn’t be on Facebook, let’s not forget Facebook remains an important communications conduit that people rely on.
To check your block list, go into Settings and click the Blocking link on the left side. Or you can click this link.