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Facebook is sorry for bug that changed sharing settings for 14M users

Aaron Aupperlee
| Friday, June 8, 2018, 11:45 a.m.
The Facebook logo is displayed on its website.
REUTERS
The Facebook logo is displayed on its website.
Facebook started notifying people Thursday, June 7, 2018, of a bug that may have caused them to share posts with more people than intended. (Photo from Facebook)
Facebook started notifying people Thursday, June 7, 2018, of a bug that may have caused them to share posts with more people than intended. (Photo from Facebook)

A bug in Facebook's software may have shared posts intended for a small circle of friends with the whole world.

And guess what?

Facebook is sorry.

Again.

The default share setting was set to public instead of the more tailored options, like friends only, for about 14 million users for 10 days in May, the company said. Anything posted during those 10 days was visible to the entire social network unless the user selected a different setting.

Facebook typically uses your last share setting as the default. So if you last shared a photo with just your friends, that setting would be selected when you went to share your next post.

The bug happened while Facebook was building a new way to share items on your profile, Erin Egan, the company's chief privacy officer, wrote in a blog post . The problem has been fixed. It affected only items posted between May 18 and 27.

“Out of an abundance of caution we are letting anyone affected know today and asking them to review Facebook posts they made during that time,” Egan wrote on Thursday. “If you posted publicly, you'll see a notification when you log in that leads to a page with more information – including a review of posts during this period.”

In a statement to TechCrunch , Egan said the company is sorry.

It's the latest snafu for which Facebook has had to apologize.

First it was Cambridge Analytica. Next, it was data-sharing partnerships with device manufacturers including Huawei, a Chinese company flagged by U.S. intelligence officials as a national security threat. And now this.

Aaron Aupperlee is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at aaupperlee@tribweb.com, 412-336-8448 or via Twitter @tinynotebook.

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