Facebook Says Bug Unblocked Connections for Over 800,000 Users

Facebook Says Bug Unblocked Connections for Over 800,000 Users

Facebook is going to notify over eight lakh users about a bug which may have unblocked some people they had blocked, the company said in a release on Monday. Blocked users are also unable to send a friend request to the person who blocked them, while blocked friends are unfriended automatically.

Rather than wait for some enterprising third-party security researcher to unearth the bug, Facebook's chief privacy officer, Erin Egan, took a swig from the mea culpa chalice.

About 83% of the 800,000 users affected had only one person unblocked. According to the company, visible Facebook user data is stored in pairs called "associations".

Mind you, they couldn't see private posts, or posts you'd only shared with your friends.

"We know that the ability to block someone is important - and we'd like to apologize and explain what happened", Egan added.


People affected by the bug will get notifications encouraging them to check their blocked lists.

Facebook is primarily about connecting with other people, but its "block" functionality certainly has its place for avoiding those you don't want to be in touch with for one reason or another.

Blocking someone on Facebook prevents them from seeing posts in a blocker's profile; connecting as a friend, or starting Messenger conversations.

"The bug was active between 29 May and 5 June - and while someone who was unblocked could not see content shared with friends, they could have seen things posted to a wider audience".

Facebook says the bug is now fixed, and everyone who'd become unblocked has been re-blocked. The bug deleted these "associations", which hit the block lists of Facebook and Messenger for some users.

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