Facebook Bug Gave Blocked Users Access to Your Posts and Photos

Facebook bug temporarily unblocked people from 800,000+ block lists

It temporarily unblocked people on Facebook Messenger, whom users had earlier blocked from sending messages to them. Those who were unblocked could not see content that a user shared with their friends, but they could see "things posted to a wider audience", Facebook said, such as photos shared with friends of friends. When a Facebook user blocks another user, the latter (blocked user) cannot see things that the former posts on their profile, they cannot start a conversation with the former on Facebook Messenger and they cannot add the former user as a friend. This will come as little comfort those anyone who found (or, indeed, is just now learning) that people they purposely blocked was able to see their posts.

Facebook apologized for the bug and said it has been fixed. Affected users, nevertheless, are going to get a notification encouraging them to review their blocked list. When you block someone on Facebook you also unfriend them (presuming you were friends in the first place).

The good news is that this glitch didn't last for too long, it was active from May 29 to June 5 of this year but it still affected close to a million people. According to the company, visible Facebook user data is stored in pairs called "associations".

For the second time in less than a month, Facebook is having to alert users that their accounts may have been negatively impacted because of a bug. For example, their relationship may have changed or they may want to take a break from someone posting content they find annoying.

Blocking someone also automatically "unfriends" the person.

People are blocked for harsher reasons, such as harassment or bullying, Egan added.

Facebook has been struggling with privacy issues since the Cambridge Analytica data scandal broke in March.

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