By Erin Egan, Chief Privacy Officer
We recently found a bug that automatically suggested posting publicly when some people were creating their Facebook posts. Today we started letting the 14 million people affected know – and asking them to review any posts they made during that time. 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.
Every time you share something on Facebook, we show you an audience selector so you can decide who gets to see the post. This is based on the people you shared with last time you posted. For example, if you choose to share a photo with friends only, your audience selector will automatically suggest you share to friends next time you start a post. If you shared something publicly last time, it will suggest public the time after.
This bug occurred as we were building a new way to share featured items on your profile, like a photo. Since these featured items are public, the suggested audience for all new posts – not just these items – was set to public. The problem has been fixed, and for anyone affected, we changed the audience back to what they’d been using before.
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. 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.
We’ve heard loud and clear that we need to be more transparent about how we build our products and how those products use your data – including when things go wrong. And that is what we are doing here.