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Facebook bug set 14 million users’ sharing settings to public

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Facebook says a software bug made some private posts public for as many as 14 million users over several days in May

While relatively minor compared to recent issues facing the company, the glitch is another embarrassing slip-up for a firm already under heavy fire over privacy concerns. Mr. Sadeh said the new settings were still confusing.

Facebook hasn't released specifics on the amount of users and posts involved other than it being up to 14 million. In the meantime, Facebook has set any public posts from that period to users' previous default settings, meaning that even users who meant to make posts public will need to reset them to be globally accessible.

The flaw affected Facebook's system for 10 days in May, but Facebook says it still plans to notify users who were impacted.

Facebook said a software bug was behind the glotch which saw users' private posts made public over several days last month.

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Erin Egan, Facebook's chief privacy officer, was quick to apologize for the mistake, but the question remains: can we still trust Facebook? The bug apparently affected 14 million people, although it seems Facebook doesn't know how many of those users may have actually posted something to the public. That default was changed to public for the 14 million users, but if affected users noticed, they could have manually switched the setting themselves. 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. The company has persuaded billions of people to share personal details about their lives on the understanding that they have complete control over who can see what stuff.

It will also display more detailed information about the bug, which Facebook has referred to as a 'technical error'.

Facebook's latest privacy bug is another result of the platform moving a little too fast...

... That way, users can reset a post that was inadvertently set to public back to being shared just with friends if they would like.

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